Poster B44, Sunday, March 26, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Tip-of-the-Tongue States Enhance Processing to Feedback
Janet Metcalfe1, Paul A. Bloom1, Judy Xu1, Matti Vuorre1, David Friedman1; 1Columbia University
The tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) state refers to the subjective feeling that the retrieval of an unrecalled target word is imminent. While our pilot research indicates that TOT states are associated with increased curiosity and answer-seeking, the underlying neural mechanisms are not yet well understood. Here, we made use of electroencephalography (EEG) to investigate neurocognitive responses to feedback to a series of 150 general information questions. For questions in which subjects (n=26) were unable to answer verbally within 3s, we first prompted subjects to indicate whether they were in a TOT state or not, then displayed the correct answer as feedback. Feedback while in the TOT state, as compared to feedback after not knowing the answer, evoked enhanced late positivity in central-posterior electrodes from 250-700ms post-onset. Additionally, when tested again on the same questions, subjects recalled a higher proportion of answers for questions in which they had been in the TOT state. These findings suggest both that feedback to the TOT state drives increased cognitive processing, and that this differential processing can improve recall.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Monitoring & inhibitory control