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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?
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This Question is similar to . – John Pick May 30 '12 at 21:03
Not sure all 3 questions should be asked in one question...I think some are a lot deeper than you might realize. – Ben Brocka May 31 '12 at 2:06
This is also almost the same as this question – Artem Kaznatcheev Jul 26 '12 at 0:27
up vote 7 down vote accepted

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.

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Another cogsci.SE answer goes into some detail on this phenomenon. – John Pick May 30 '12 at 23:18

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