To clarify the feeling of knowing a name but not being able to recall it, known as having a “tip-of-the-tongue” (TOT) experience, we proposed a TOT model consisting of three stages combining a face recognition model and autonomic sympathetic nerve activity. Since TOT increases with age, we compared two age groups: young (N = 27, M = 20.4 ± 1.5 years) and middle-aged (N = 29, M = 58.5 ± 8.0 years). Experiment 1 showed that successfully naming low-frequency common names increased the skin conductance response (SCR) value, and the time to reach the maximum SCR value was longer. Experiment 2 was a naming task for face photographs. The younger group showed higher SCR values during successfully naming, while the middle-aged group showed similar SCR values for successfully naming and experiencing TOT. Both groups had the longest time to reach maximum SCR in TOT. In this study, physiological arousal of TOT was not affected by aging.
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