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Luckmeister
2014-Jun-29, 06:55 PM
With my advancing age, I'm finding that my short term memory is noticeably declining. This morning I started to
google for advice on it and got one word into the query before totally forgetting what I was about to search for.
Now that's kinda funny -- having a memory lapse while searching for memory lapse help. :doh: Two hours later I
remembered what it was when I thought about the subject again.

This site seems to have some good info. There's quite a list of things that can cause short term loss.
http://www.improve-memory-skills.com/short-term-memory.html

Any thoughts on the subject?

profloater
2014-Jun-29, 07:08 PM
Being of a certain age (67) and having had my father die of big A dementia, I have thought about this. One of the most useful techniques I have learned and experimented with, is called "living your gestures". A better title is learning to speak out loud.

At the simple level it means paying attention to simple tasks like putting your keys down. You say out loud to yourself "I am putting my keys on the shelf" .
This works on several levels. I have read that by speaking out loud you access your amygdala and drive a message in. So the spoken word reaches parts of your brain that just thinking , and certainly acting from habit, do not.

If you try this I think you will find you have perfect recall of where you put your keys.

Extending this to other memory tasks, I find if I want to remember, I do say it out loud to my self, as in "Dentist appointment tomorrow 11 o'clock." You soon stop worrying about other people hearing you. This trick seems to very powerful. Maybe actually saying it requires concentration, and maybe hearing it activates new parts of your brain, but either way it works.

My theory is that we can easily slip into automatic from a lifetime of habits, and fail to pay attention. It's not really loss of memory function its lazy brain drifting in neutral. If you make yourself perform that simple task each time you want to remember, I think it will help.

Trebuchet
2014-Jun-29, 07:27 PM
I frequently find myself searching for something I've just had a short time earlier -- frequently my glasses. Eventually I'll find it in an obvious location where I already looked several times. At 65, this would worry me if I hadn't been doing the exact same thing for my entire life. My mother told me I'd lose my head if it wasn't fastened on.

Luckmeister
2014-Jun-29, 07:35 PM
Being of a certain age (67) and having had my father die of big A dementia, I have thought about this. One of the most useful techniques I have learned and experimented with, is called "living your gestures". A better title is learning to speak out loud.

At the simple level it means paying attention to simple tasks like putting your keys down. You say out loud to yourself "I am putting my keys on the shelf" .
This works on several levels. I have read that by speaking out loud you access your amygdala and drive a message in. So the spoken word reaches parts of your brain that just thinking , and certainly acting from habit, do not.

If you try this I think you will find you have perfect recall of where you put your keys.

Yes, vocalizing something one wants to remember does help. When I come in from the garage, I've gotten into the habit of going back 10 seconds after shutting the door to make sure I turned off the lights there. I'll try saying "turning off the lights" while doing it. I'll bet it will help but I've taken pride in not being one with a tendency to talk to oneself. I guess I'll have to modify my thinking there.

starcanuck64
2014-Jun-29, 07:43 PM
I find writing things down helps me remember, I can visualize the thing I need to recall, plus having little notes is a good backup. I don't go grocery shopping now without a list.

I was also diagnosed with a vitamin B12 deficiency a few years ago and taking 200mcg of cyanocobalamin a day really helps my mental functions, including short term memory.

Luckmeister
2014-Jun-29, 07:50 PM
I find writing things down helps me remember, I can visualize the thing I need to recall, plus having little notes is a good backup. I don't go grocery shopping now without a list.

I was also diagnosed with a vitamin B12 deficiency a few years ago and taking 200mcg of cyanocobalamin a day really helps my mental functions, including short term memory.

In college, I found that taking notes during a lecture, even just jotting down keywords, helped me remember, even if I didn't look at them later (though if I did, much more of the lecture would come back to me).

They mentioned B12 in the site I linked to.

Solfe
2014-Jun-30, 12:21 AM
I think the most important way to ah... maintain short... ah. Hum. Did you guys hear Jerry Garcia is dead?

Torsten
2014-Jun-30, 03:00 AM
My pickup is parked in the driveway outside the garage. When I go to work, I usually have to load stuff into it that is stored in the garage, so I have the big garage door open when I am finally ready to drive away. I often found myself several km out of town wondering whether I had closed the door before leaving. At times I could not convince myself that I'd closed it and returned to check. So I finally made a rule: The ignition is not turned on until I have seen that door closing and told myself "door closed". No more problems.

profloater
2014-Jun-30, 06:35 AM
You garage door example is just so. It becomes habitual and then you cannot remember if you did it. The habitual nature is natural just like , apparently, the habit of putting on one sock before the other. Unconscious actions. The willful act to speak the action out loud breaks that habit making it conscious. I was told regarding Altzheimers, that forgetting where you parked the car is normal, forgetting how to drive is brain damage. My father typed his reports all his life and then forgot how to type. It is the common experience of being absent minded that voicing helps solve. Writing lists is good too. I always include a few jobs I have already done so I can tick those off immediately! A list with no ticks is so depressing.

HenrikOlsen
2014-Jul-01, 11:03 AM
A great advantages of modern technology is that these days, someone speaking into thin air is assumed to be interacting with an electronic device rather than being assumed mentally unstable.

Simply precede all those memory hook sentences with "Siri," and people assume you're using a smartphone.

Solfe
2014-Jul-01, 12:17 PM
A great advantages of modern technology is that these days, someone speaking into thin air is assumed to be interacting with an electronic device rather than being assumed mentally unstable.

Simply precede all those memory hook sentences with "Siri," and people assume you're using a smartphone.

On Big Bang Theory, there is this very beautiful woman who plays Siri. I know her from college.

People think I am mentally unstable because I never get her first name right. My excuse is that she has a twin and very often I am never sure which one I am talking to because I am an acquaintance, not a close friend.

Hlafordlaes
2014-Jul-02, 11:08 AM
At least we have the fine example of Faraday, who struggled with depression and short-term memory loss starting around 40, iirc from a recent Cosmos. Didn't stop him from continuing to set up and make some ground-breaking experiments.

Absent minded since young, my defenses include routines for most everything, such as dumping my pockets when coming home into a tray, for reloading the next day, to the exact order in which I undertake my ablutions in the shower so I do not forget a step. Nowadays I make sure to play a wide mix of games, plus read topics that are new and complex, to keep the old noggin from going to seed too quickly.

I tend to think of my brain as having two parts, the smallish conscious part and the more powerful back-end processing unconscious; I am more concerned that the back-end no longer shows up for work on a daily basis. For a few weeks or a month I can get "hot" on many topics, then the whole shebang seems to go into a lull until the next round. I now have the fairly frequent experience that if I read my better stuff when in a lull, it all sounds like new and written by someone else.

My main complaint is that now that I am peaking in curiosity for whatever reasons, I don't have the mental equipment to take advantage of the situation. Like time and money, I never seem to have had both simultaneously.

Noclevername
2014-Jul-02, 06:52 PM
I seem to have problems with both kinds of memory; there are occasional events in my past that people I know well and trust recall clearly, but that I can't remember at all.

Gigabyte
2014-Jul-03, 04:56 PM
I find writing things down helps me remember, I can visualize the thing I need to recall, plus having little notes is a good backup.

I can't remember who said it, and I'm not Googling it, but I've heard "The worst pencil is better than the best memory" for so long it's just common knowledge. These days you would think smart phones would have an app you can just record you to do list, or whatever, with the push of a button. Then forget to play it back later.

rigel
2014-Jul-03, 10:16 PM
I usually have no problem where I leave my glasses, etc. But last week we were packing, moving, unpacking and throwing junk out while having new carpet to be installed. I can not find my glasses. but I found an old pair, so there be some hope yet.

On another short term memory problem after brain sugery, I can not remember peoples names after just meeting them.

redshifter
2014-Jul-03, 10:51 PM
On another short term memory problem after brain sugery, I can not remember peoples names after just meeting them.

I haven't had brain surgery (that I can remember..) and I still do that!

TJMac
2014-Jul-04, 04:53 PM
I like to use a variation on the vocal trick. Let's call it the Cool Hand Luke trick. :D

In that movie, when ever the convicts paused to do something, they had to inform the "Boss". "Getting a drink, Boss!" During the carwash scene, "Putting my glasses on, Boss!"

So, when I am the one locking up the shop after work, "Locking the door, Boss!" as I shake the door to make sure it is indeed locked. Because I've gotten 5 miles away, turned around and came back to make sure it was locked.

For taking regularly scheduled medications though, Ive found that only one of those little boxes with the days of week, and AM & PM marked on it really works. I suppose a calendar and a pencil would do as well, also.

For what its worth, I do have a little app on my Android called AK Notepad. It literally looks like a yellow notepad, with lines. Just type whatever, have as many pages as you like. It's easy to get lost in, as I cant find any sort of filing system on it.

TJ