Do you ever get a hunch? A gut feeling, something at the back of your head and it turns out to be correct.
Have you ever been watching a TV quiz show and an asked question causes you to shout out an answer even though you had not even thought about it, and when you do think about it you do not know how you know that answer and start to doubt it. Nine times out of ten the answer proves to be correct.
This is one of the golden rules of quizzing, never change the answer you first thought of.
Why is it that we can conjure up all these answers when we are sure we did not know them?
The reason is that your brain is a sponge and it has a far faster and better retrieval system than you could ever imagine.
Normally if someone asks you a question you go through the manual retrieval process of first identifying if you know anything about the general subject, then if so you try to zero in on whether or not you know this fact.
If you don’t, then you organise the information you do know about the subject to see if you can work it out.
For instance if I was asked who wrote the poem A Lovers Complaint in 1609 I would not have a clue as I have never heard of it before, but I do know that William Shakespeare was alive (1564 – 1616) and at the height of his creativity in 1609 so I would guess Shakespeare and most times be correct.
Now the fact that I just looked that up to make the point above means that will now go into long-term storage and in 20 years’ time if I am asked who wrote A Lovers Complaint before thinking about it my retrieval system will have placed Shakespeare on the tip on my tongue.
It is a remarkable thing. The brain it just keeps soaking up information, even when you are not making conscious attempts to remember things, the eyes and ears just keep pouring information in.
It is possible that you know the answer to a question because you overheard someone talking about it or there was an article on TV that you were not paying attention to. But your brain was!
Do you ever wake up in the morning having had a really weird dream? You dreamt about people and scenarios you are absolutely certain you have never encountered before. So why were they in your brain?
Dreaming is like letting all the memories out of the filing cabinet and allowing them to romp about inside your skull totally unfettered.
These things that you can remember dreaming about, but cannot remember ever encountering then in real life, these are the things your brain stuck in there when you weren’t looking, these are all the additional input that happens all the time, even when you are asleep and dreaming.
The brain never stops working. It is always on the go, except for one time and that will come to you eventually.