Did you feel your brain searching for
the correct answer? Once you'd seen the first letter,
did you suddenly remember the name of the capital city?
Your brain stores a phenomenal number
of memories - names, people, places, events and objects,
not to mention 15 000 words. When you can't remember
something, often the fact is in your memory, but you
can't get to it. Jogging your memory with a word or
a first letter can open the gates for you to access
Trust your instincts
Often you'll have a 'gut feeling' of whether
you know something or not. Trust these instincts, experiments
show they're almost always right.
Recall versus recognition
It is much more difficult to recall a
correct answer from your memory than to pick out the
correct answer from a list (memory experts call this
Try to answer question 1 below. Then try question 2,
which is easier?
1. What is the capital of Kenya?
2. What is the capital of Kenya?
The answer is Nairobi.
For both you needed to know the answer, but question
2 sparks your brain into remembering.