Tip-Of-The-Tongue Phenomenon

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In order to best explain the TOT phenomenon, it is best that I show a simple example of this first:
Teacher says, "Trent, what is the name of the gigantic Ferris wheel in London?"
Trent says, "Ah, I know it, I know it! (Looks up at the ceiling and ponders for several minutes) For some reason I just can't think of it, it's just on the tip-of-my-tongue though!"

Now I'm sure most or all of you have had a similar experience like this, one time in your life, and just feel like complete idiots for not being able to retrieve the answer you are looking for in the back of your mind. Once again, this is most commonly referred to as the Tip-Of-The-Tongue Phenomenon. This is the feeling a person gets when they are certain they know what the word, person, or place is, but they are unable to recall or say it. TOT appears to be present in just about any person out there today, but the interesting fact I found was that TOT is really age-dependable, which means that it is more common in older than younger people. This is why some scientists believe that TOT is connected to the mental diseases known as Alzheimer's and Dementia. There is not one common explanation for this phenomenon, but some believe TOT is connected to the Semantic memory portion of our brains, which deals with the interpretation of the meaning of words.

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What I found most interesting was that there are actually different tests to do to test for TOT phenomenon. I thought people would like to know about this because I'm sure they have had this experience at least once in their lifetime and did not actually know that this was a legitimate psychological theory. I also bet most of my classmates did not know that the TOT phenomenon occurs at least once a week for them also! The picture at the top represents my personal experience with the TOT phenomenon because I saw the movie Accepted with Justin Long and knew I had seen him in another movie before but I just could not recall what movie it was.

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I can definitely relate to the tip of the tongue phenomenon, sadly it seems to be something that happens to me multiple times a week and is quite frustrating. It is kind of worrisome to hear that it can be related to Alzheimer's and dementia.

I find the tip of the tongue phenomenon pretty interesting. Its weird how I can temporarily forget someones name, even though I can mentally picture what they look like, and then come up with the name a couple minutes later. Its interesting to think about what makes you forget it, but more interestingly is what makes you remember it. I think the second part is more interesting, because often you will have moved on from trying to recall it, and then sporadically recall it, when you were thinking of something completely different.

I definitely experience the tip of the tongue phenomenon multiple times a week and it can be so frustrating at times. The weird thing about it is how you can picture what you are trying to say but can't think of the name. I wish there was a cure for this problem!

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This page contains a single entry by davi2225 published on January 22, 2012 6:55 PM.

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