We’ve all been there. You’re in the middle of a conversation or a presentation and suddenly your mind goes blank. What was that basic word, the one that I really really should know? Your panicked reaction to this untimely brain fart only makes things worse, as your mind desperately scrabbles for an alternative… and that’s how comedy is born. Scroll down to see the funniest examples!
It turns out that this “tip of the tongue” phenomenon has a name: lethologica. It’s defined as a feeling that accompanies the temporary inability to retrieve information from memory. These moments occur quite often and this frequency increases with age. When you experience lethologica, you know that the word you are looking for is there, it’s just tantalisingly outside of your grasp. It seems to have been closed off, behind some kind of mental brick wall. When something finally comes along to trigger the missing information, the sense of relief is real. So what can you do when you are struck by such moment? It could be as simple as squeezing your left fist. By clenching your fist (or, theoretically, any significant portion of the left side of your body) you increase blood-flow to the contralateral or right hemisphere, which gives the retrieval mechanisms a lift. 90 seconds should be enough. If nothing else it could relax your mind and help you to focus on something else, because the more you beat yourself up trying to remember the word, the harder it actually becomes.
Have you ever experienced a brain fart moment? Let us know in the comments below!