It's on the tip of my tongue

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Surely everybody has had the frustrating experience of knowing the answer to something, but just weren't able to spit it out. "What's that animal called that lives in Australia that is really weird with a bill and swims in the water?" You know you know the answer, you just can't manage to get it out of your brain. " ugh I know this!"
This experience, as we learned in chapter 7, is called the "Tip-of-the-tongue Phenomenon." It occurs when we learn and "store" a piece of information, but we just can't "retrieve" it. Most people are able to describe certain things about the word, such as the letter it starts with or how many syllables it has, they just can't tell you what the word is. After the word is told to them they most likely will respond with something along the lines of "AH! I knew that! It was on the tip of my tongue!"
Here is a video that explores the idea of this phenomenon:

In the video, the point is made that the more time we spend in the "tip-of-the-tongue" state, the more likely we are to repeat that behavior later on. This can be a problem for people and as suggested in the video, it is better to just look up the answer rather than trying over and over. The longer you remain in state, the more you are teaching yourself to repeat it the next time the question is asked.
I would be interested to find out more about why this happens and what parts of the brain are involved. I will have to do more research when I have the time!

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Apparently the link for the video didn't make it into my post somehow. Here is the link.

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This page contains a single entry by olsso022 published on October 23, 2011 10:24 PM.

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