Cat Got Your Tongue?

Presque Vu by: McKenzie Ball & Katelyn McWilliams

Presque Vu, also known as Tip of the Tongue, is so common, we wanted to figure out why it occurred. Our research can help us learn what causes this phenomenon and ways to beat it. If we learn how to conquer this Tip of the Tongue syndrome, the world might be a less frustrating place.

What is Presque Vu?

Presque Vu is the failure to retrieve a word from memory. When experiencing this Tip of the Tongue phenomenon, you can often recall one or more features of the word, such as words sounding/meaning the same, the first letter of the word, and the way it sounds.

The Brain

When your left temporal and frontal areas of the brain fail to work together, presque vu occurs. Multi-tasking, fatigue, and the natural aging process increase the chances of having a tip of the tongue moment. The two main theories for presque vu is direct access and inferential theory, which both point to a misdirection or weakness around the certain word or phase you are trying to remember.

Important Research & Experiments

Through research, Dr. Lori E. James and Dr. Deborah M. Burke have tested the theory that sound is just as important as meaning when trying to retrieve a word. The participants were able to respond with the correct word that sounded similar to the target word than words with no similar sound to the target word.

How to Beat Presque Vu

The first thing you do when trying to recall the target word, do not panic!!!!! When you stress out, your brain is sent to flight or fight mode, leaving you unable to recall the word you are trying to remember. Speak words you think might be similar to the sound of the target word. A research team from New Jersey found that clinching your right fist can give you a better grip on your memory. Hopefully this will help you remember that word you just can't get out!!!
What is Déjà vu?