Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Physiology & Medicine => Topic started by: cheryl j on 25/10/2013 22:39:10

Title: Do tip of the tongue experiences occur more often with age?
Post by: cheryl j on 25/10/2013 22:39:10
I read a rather article lately that said that tip of the tongue experiences increase with age but are not necessarily predictive of Alzheimer's disease, which is reassuring to older people. But the article didn't give any references for studies about tip of the tongue experiences or what happens in the brain when that goes on.

It's such an odd sensation, to know that you know something, but not access it completely. It drives me nuts when I am writing and I know there is a certain word I want to use that fits, but I can't think of it, or when I can see an actor's face and remember the movie, but not his name. (Thank God for goggle - it's like my auxiliary brain.) It is such a strange, "itchy" brain sensation, and equally satisfying when you finally remember something, like scratching an itch.
 What's interesting is the procedures people go through to help remember something, like "Go through the letters of the alphabet. Or remember other things connected to that word or object." Tip of the tongue experiences with words are similar to walking into a room to do or find something, and not remembering why. People often have to physically go back to the place they were before and then somehow easily remember what it was they were planning to do.

Has anyone read any good research about it, and what are your own tip of tongue experiences?
Title: Re: Tip of the tongue experiences
Post by: Super Hans on 06/11/2013 02:25:33
There was an AskTNS  episode with Doctor Chris Smith and, he said something along the lines of that there is a broken connection in the brain, to use your example...you can't remember an actors name.  He said that every time you try and remember it, you're rehearsing the broken pathway and it makes it more unlikely that you will retrieve the information.

He said that if you forget about it, you will no longer rehearse the broken pathway but your subconscious will continue to try and retrieve the information, then it will suddenly come out of nowhere.

He went on to reference a study with a bunch of students but I...can't remember anything after that, maybe I should stop trying to remember.

=P

It's somewhere in an AskTNS episode anyway.
Title: Re: Tip of the tongue experiences
Post by: Lmnre on 08/11/2013 20:20:45
I experienced this working on crossword puzzles. The best way for me to describe it is like crawling along tree branches looking for fruit. I see a fruit (that is, line of sight, or shortcut method) that seems to be on a particular branch (a methodical method), and I crawl towards it, but I can't get it because I'm on the wrong branch. So I must *go back* and select another branch.

It's the *going back* and selecting another branch that people have a problem with. Similarly, let's say you have a simple, spiral maze. If you put a chicken in the middle and a cat on the outside, it will easily spiral in towards the chicken and get it because it's always getting closer to it. BUT, if you put the chicken on the outside and the cat in the middle, it can't figure out how to get the chicken because its problem-solving powers cannot accept going farther away from it in order to get it.