Alzheimer’s runs in the women in my family – so I took special interest in this piece. With a busy life that practically defines the “many reasons for memory lapses: aging, stress, lack of sleep, distraction, inattention …” I am going to take some of these tips (click through to read them) to heart.
Please click through at the bottom to read the entire article. With
Memory lapse or Alzheimer’s? Multi-tasking fuels forgetting
SAN DIEGO — Those twinges of forgetfulness that appear to be getting more pronounced may worry you. After all, the statistics are scary: Every 70 seconds, someone in the USA develops Alzheimer’s. But every lapse isn’t a signal that your memory is kaput.
Cheryl Edwards-Cannon, 57, says she relies on Post-it notes and spiral notebooks to help her remember, since she’s multitasking “the majority of the time.”
There are many reasons for memory lapses: aging, stress, lack of sleep, distraction, inattention and disease. There’s a lot coming at us, and sometimes we may feel like we’re on information overload.
“Distraction may be just a very important factor that goes hand-in-hand with multitasking,” says Suparna Rajaram, a psychology professor at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y.
Whether new information sticks is “very dependent” on how much you focus, she says.
“Even if you’re distracted when remembering, you may be all right, but if you’re distracted when learning, you pay for it,” she says.
Rajaram is among researchers presenting new findings on memory at the American Psychological Association‘s annual meeting, which opens today in San Diego. About 14,000 psychology professionals are expected to attend the four days of presentations.
“People are trying to multitask more than they used to, but they don’t have to keep as many things in memory as they used to, because they have electronic devices that do that,” says psychology professor Nelson Cowan of the University of Missouri-Columbia. “Overall, I’m not sure whether this is training our brains or letting them go lax.”
Rajaram adds that people vary in memory capacity; some are just more forgetful. “Forgetfulness is not just being poor at remembering; it also occurs because as we gain experience in life and get older, we have more to remember,” she says.