Tip of the.... Tongue (Presque VU)

Blake Timm

Why Tip of the tongue?

So many times i know what i want to say but can't find the words. If i research it maybe we can better understand and know how to prevent it.

What is it?

Remembering something you experienced but not being able to remember the stimulus that caused it. The memory may be blocked by another memory or the retrieval cue is not valid.

What is going on in the brain?

Your brain is constantly translating signals so you can speak. when tip of the tongue happens the process is interrupted. The Anterior cingulate cortex activity is increased during this phenomenon. there is a connection between increased occurrence of tip of the tongue with bilingual people, lorazempom users, too much caffeine, aging, emotions, disorders, priming and gestures.
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William James was the first to describe it. Sigmund freud believed that unconscious thoughts and impulses could cause it. Roger Brown and David McNeil were the first to experiment with it. They read out definitions of rare words to study participants and asked them what word was being defined and the word was later read by the experimenter and they would report any experience of tip of the tongue.
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interesting facts

  • You can beat it by coming up with the first letter of a word or name
  • can get worse as you age
  • can just be a memory blocking it
  • on average happens once a week
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