Triple Entendre (triple_entendre) wrote,
Triple Entendre
triple_entendre

tip of the metacognitive tongue

Just noticed that if there's a word I can't quite recall (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tip_of_the_tongue), it actually helps if I reason about it out loud. I talked aloud, in a disinterested voice, about the particular concept as if explaining it to someone. After about a paragraph of this, the word became silently(!) available.1

I noticed that I had a slight resistance to initiating the exercise of speaking out loud to prod the memory/clear the block/etc. I mean, I believed intellectually it would work, but not emotionally. The "stuck" circuit wanted to succeed "by itself", so to speak. (I guess that's a "wait, wait, don't tell me".)

I think whatever subsystem of my brain that was handling this request wanted that tiny "reward" of dopamine that you get when a mental effort succeeds. My talking-out-loud workaround gave me the word *without* any such reward. Or indeed any sense at all of where it came from.

Trip

[1] now that I think back on it, it may even have been a picture of the word. Or more specifically, the mental state that I might have shortly after seeing a picture of the word.
Tags: brain, metacognition
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 2 comments