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Between Thought and Expression, a Magnetoencephalography Study of the "Tip-of-the-Tongue" Phenomenon

Resnik, K; Bradbury, D; Barnes, GR; Leff, AP; (2014) Between Thought and Expression, a Magnetoencephalography Study of the "Tip-of-the-Tongue" Phenomenon. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience , 26 (10) pp. 2210-2223. 10.1162/jocn_a_00611. Green open access

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Abstract

“Tip-of-the-tongue” (TOT) is the phenomenon associated with the inaccessibility of a known word from memory. It is universally experienced, increases in frequency with age, and is most common for proper nouns. It is a good model for the symptom of anomia experienced much more frequently by some aphasic patients following brain injury. Here, we induced the TOT state in older participants while they underwent brain scanning with magnetoencephalography to investigate the changes in oscillatory brain activity associated with failed retrieval of known words. Using confrontation naming of pictures of celebrities, we successfully induced the TOT state in 29% of trials and contrasted it with two other states: “Know” where the participants both correctly recognized the celebrity's face and retrieved their name and “Don't Know” when the participants did not recognize the celebrity. We wished to test Levelt's influential model of speech output by carrying out two analyses, one epoching the data to the point in time when the picture was displayed and the other looking back in time from when the participants first articulated their responses. Our main findings supported the components of Levelt's model, but not their serial activation over time as both semantic and motor areas were identified in both analyses. We also found enduring decreases in the alpha frequency band in the left ventral temporal region during the TOT state, suggesting ongoing semantic search. Finally, we identified reduced beta power in classical peri-sylvian language areas for the TOT condition, suggesting that brain regions that encode linguistic memories are also involved in their attempted retrieval.

Type: Article
Title: Between Thought and Expression, a Magnetoencephalography Study of the "Tip-of-the-Tongue" Phenomenon
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_00611
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1162/jocn_a_00611
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Event-related Potentials, Word-finding Failures, Language Comprehension, Speech Articulation, Brain Oscillations, Retrieval, Fmri, Memory, State, Meg
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Brain Repair and Rehabilitation
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1426016
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