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What's the capital of ... ?


Your brain stores millions of facts. Sometimes you need to be prompted to remember all of them. Try this game to release your hidden knowledge.

Read quickly through this list of countries.


Ignore the ones you can easily answer, and those you definitely can't answer.


Now concentrate on the ones that are 'on the tip of your tongue', but you can't answer.


What happens if we give you the first letter of the capital city? Does this jog your memory?


Roll the cursor over the country name to find out.


Click on the country to see the answer.



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 a memory.


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 recognition).
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?
        a. Maputo
        b. Nairobi
        c. Asmara


The answer is Nairobi.
For both you needed to know the answer, but question 2 sparks your brain into remembering.