You all know the situation described in the title. You forgot something and start to search your memory and then after quite a while it jumps right in front of you, out of nowhere.

My questions are:

  1. What happens in the brain during that moment of awareness?
  2. Is it different from when we know something right away, since the subconscious mind is working for quite a while to produce the answer?
  3. Is it possible to measure this moment and was it done already?
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ This Question is similar to cogsci.stackexchange.com/q/1/421 . $\endgroup$
    – John Pick
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ Not sure all 3 questions should be asked in one question...I think some are a lot deeper than you might realize. $\endgroup$
    – Zelda
    Commented May 31, 2012 at 2:06
  • $\begingroup$ This is also almost the same as this question $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 0:27

1 Answer 1


You'll want to look up literature on the "Tip of the Tongue" (TOT) phenomenon. It's been studied since the 60s I believe and can be experimentally reproduced.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.