Triple Entendre (triple_entendre) wrote,
Triple Entendre

tip of the metacognitive tongue

Just noticed that if there's a word I can't quite recall (, 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.


[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
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