Wednesday , 13 January 2016
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#10 Presque Vu – 10 Strange Phenomenon of the Human Mind

Your mind is an organized totality or system that incorporates all mental processes or psychic activities. Many philosophers have asserted that the mind is an inner state of consciousness. Attempts to comprehend the human mind roll back to the ancient Greeks. For instance, Plato believed that the mind assimilated knowledge through virtue, irrespective of the sense experience. On the other hand, Descartes and Leibniz believed that the mind acquired knowledge through reasoning and thinking (i.e. rationalism). In modern times, scientists have made a lot of progress when it comes to understanding the human mind. Still, there’s a lot of mystery surrounding some unusual experiences of the mind. In this last piece of our 10-week series (The 10 Strange Phenomena of the Human Mind), we detail Presque Vu.

Meaning of Presque Vu

Presque Vu is a word that you don’t hear every day, not unless you’re French. The word translates to “almost seen”, a fancy way of saying “brain fart” or experiencing a “senior moment”. In basic terms, Presque Vu is a French neologism referring to the ‘tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon’. Think about those times when you momentarily forget a keyword in the process of having a conversation but are irritated by the strong feeling that it’s right at the tip of your tongue. Interestingly, Presque Vu is an unusual psychological condition that is broadly similar to Déjà vu, which is the French word for ‘already seen’. The description outlined above emanates from the term ‘lethologica’, which means the clinical inability to remember a word. In fair terms, Lethologica is an actual psychological disorder, whereas Presque Vu is plainly a brain fart. Although both lethologica and Presque Vu are unrelated (when you think about the cause), their effects are strikingly similar.

Research to Decode Presque Vu

A lot of researchers have undertaken to understand Presque Vu in large detail. Way back in 1965, psychologists David McNeill and Robert Brown wrote in “The ‘tip of the tongue’ phenomenon” that the affected person appeared to be in a mild torment, such as happens in the brink of a sneeze. But if he found the word he was looking for, the rampant relief was considerable. A lot of us have had that feeling, and if I guess right we all hate it!
In the same article, Mr. McNeill and Brown found out that instances of this strange phenomenon of the human mind tend to increase with age. So if you’ve noticed those greying old seniors have their ‘what’s that word again?! moments, you might understand the reason for this.
Presque Vu doesn’t affect the life of the affected person in a significant way. But all in all, the sensation of Presque vu can be very distracting and disorienting when it happens!

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