On the tip of my tongue

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On the tip of my tongue

Postby BadgerJelly on September 15th, 2016, 4:13 am 

My mother has always said "on the tip of my mind" instead of tongue.

This interests me as something we can all appreciate yet maybe do not really put much thought to. Recently I made a post at at the start of thr post whilst dealing with a very tricky topic I recalled the flash of a dream, or it may have been the memory of a previous conversation on another forum, and I could not quite hold the significance because I was writing and went on to write a few paragraphs more.

This fleeting experience still haunts me because I feel quite strongly like I missed a veyr important point related to furthering my understanding regarding what I was looking at :(

Anyway, Evryone here can relate to such an experience be it of greater or lesser importance. Such as trying to recall where you put your keys, the name of an actress, the words of a song or the French word for peach.

What I do think evades our attention quite easily is the "motion" from the search for the information to the discovery of the information. If we are taking part in a quiz with friends we find the answer and have an emotional rush at expressing our knowledge and a general sense of pride (muted or not depending on your current mood). If you are incorrect and other shoot you down then you enter confliction and begin to doubt your own previous conviction (or not?). I know I have been convinced about some fact in the past and refused to believe what anyone else says only to be proven wrong. And on the flip side I guess I have had this conviction because on some occassikns I have actually been correct against the majority.

The above is a very social emotional response to unearthing answers or pulling information from memory. I think we can see more ckearly here how we feel from moment to moment in social situations.

When it comes to instances when I am alone and figur eout some problem there is often a drive to show what I have found, to show off. Sometimes when I think of something interesting I suddenly realise that most people I know won't care about it in the slightest. Much like a mad football fanatic telling a story about his team scoring an amazing goal, although the enthuiasm will rub off to some degree occassionally.

To backtrack to my fleeting glimpse of a discovery. I am curious as to whether it really was important or not, to me personally. It may well have been completely unconnected and some thought vaguely related to what I was thinking thhat happened to pop into my head yet made actually difference to progressing my investigation and so then sunk back into my unconscious. Even if this was so, and I have had thoughts that have done such a thing and rise into consciousness seemingly significant only to be revealled as happenstantial and minutely related giving the intial impression of significance, ... Even so it did allow me to believe and trust in the idea of progressing forwards and upwards into further branches of knowledge. The illusion of a resolution gives the "motion" to achieve some kind of resolution and in doing so also reveals itself as a finite resolution.

If this seems long winded it is because I found that the more I let myself go when writing I actcually unearth this quality and find myself increasing my interest simply by expressing myself (often badly). The verbal thoughts I have in my head are easily expressed although often they can be too quick for my fingers. In this sense my verbal thought is resolved onto the page and the process behind it the tip of my mind, so to speak.

From here when I am trying to recall some information I am trying to unite some unitation of language with a whole thought, feeling, sensation of being. Where are my keys? Brings into play a natrative of what I have doen where I have been, and this narrative is often full of triggers of what thoughts I had, what smells I experienced, etc,. The conscious verbal thought can also overpower you and drown out any recollection. Often forgetting about the question at hand allows the answer to rise out of cognitive attention.

So I am talking about recollection. So if I am trying to come up with an answer to some question that I have not come across before I am not having a recollection. Solving a brand new problem, although it may be similar to other problems, is nothing like recalling where I put my keys. That said there is some similarity in our emotional states in both solving, to whatever degree, soem problem and recalling some information.

If I recall a problem and then solve it then I know there are two processes here. Do I recall a problem before I solve it? Is the problem solved and then brought into conscious attention in order for the solution to be consciously held? As stated above a memory can often be brought into consciius attention by directing conscious attention away from it. If problem solving works in a fashion akin to memory recall, which in some instances it appears to, I can have an solution brought into conscious attention rather than being attended to resolved consciously.

What this shows is that I can look for keys that I have losf and that I can look for keys that I have not lost ... although the later seems insane we can discover other misplaced items (as I am sure we've all experienced). So when attempting to resolve seemingly impossible problems, or rather nonsensical problems, can we actually benefit and is this actually a process in which we do partake in daily life hidden from our conscious attention and revealed in fleeting "light bulb" moments where our verbal narration of life is less linear and plastic having some disregard for order or sequence?

Funnily enough there is a word relevent here that I cannot recall. Basically it is our propensity to see patterns where there are no patterns. Could this relate to our temporal directedness in thought processes and reveal something that may be of more use if thought about under a new light rather than seen as a common fault in thinking and dealing with data? I mean soemthing like a creative aspect beyond the glaringly obvious benefits.
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Re: On the tip of my tongue

Postby neuro on September 15th, 2016, 1:34 pm 

My opinion is that most activity in the brain is oriented at finding a way of (a) contextualizing, (b) framing and (c) connecting information so to reach maximum consistency.

(which leadts to "our propensity to see patterns where there are no patterns").

Most of the "consistency search" goes on well below our threshold for consciousness; and our conscious thought mostly "uses" what emerges from this submerged work and already is sufficiently "framed" and "consistent".
Is the problem solved and then brought into conscious attention in order for the solution to be consciously held

As long as no patterns can be detected there is no way of solving the problem; conscious search for a solution only works by starting from the subconscious detection of possibly relevant patterns, and the solution often simply is the recognition / identification of such pattern.
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