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Thread: Long term memory

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Long term memory

    My last performance for the 'Music Man' was October 15. Here it is only a month later and I find I have already begun to 'lose' a few lines (I had sizable role). Oddly enough, I still can recite the entire selection I did from Neal Simon's 'The Good Doctor' that I did in high school over 24 years ago. It would require considerable effort for me to remember what I had for dinner last night and I do not think I could tell you at all what I had for dinner 1 week ago. Memory sure is a strange thing and takes on so many different forms (remembering faces, names, events, music, conversations, dates, etc.). I once knew a guy who had a photographic mind (eiditic memory). You could have him look at a page of text for 30 seconds and ask him 10 minutes later what the fifth word on the 17th line was and he'd tell you correctly 100% of the time.

    So, do YOU have a good memory, and if so for what sort of thing? If your memory sucks (in any particular area) how do you compensate?

    edit: and for Mendelman's benefit, 'Neal Simon' was the lesser well known playwright who penned several Brawdway Shows
    Last edited by Maister; 18 Nov 2004 at 11:22 AM.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    I have been told I have an excellent memory. I vividly remember details about the things that people say. I think it has more to do with listening skills than actual memory, though. I've been in meetings where some one has made a claim that was counter to what I understood that was agreed upon, say 2 to 4 weeks prior, at an earlier meeting. I have embarrassed a number of people in my lifetime. I can't stand figgin' liars.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I had a friend who could tell just from taste any beer, as long has he has had it at least once before, and if not, he would tell you, I have not had this beer before. He was also able to tell you if something was different in the taste, such as a change in production or storage.

  4. #4
    I have a pretty decent memory of events that took place from early childhood (age 4 - 1968 or so) all the way up to about 30 (1994). I can chronologically parse the major events of my life that took place during that time and assign them to different years, with the mere mention of an individual year (say 1983) bringing back totally different memories than an adjacent year (1982 or 1984).

    But after 1993 or so, every year begins to blend in with every other year. Except for vacations, the year 1996 has little to distinguish itself from 1994, 1995, 1997 etc. Between 1998 and 2001 or so years got a little more distinguishable, but only because the kids were born and their mannerisms and antics would change monthly.

    My short term memory is pure crap. I can remember 1983 like it was yesterday, but can't remember where I parked the car.

  5. #5
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Wanigas?
    I have been told I have an excellent memory. I vividly remember details about the things that people say. I think it has more to do with listening skills than actual memory, though. I've been in meetings where some one has made a claim that was counter to what I understood that was agreed upon, say 2 to 4 weeks prior, at an earlier meeting. I have embarrassed a number of people in my lifetime. I can't stand figgin' liars.
    My wife remembers everything I say (and makes use of this ability usually while we're arguing ). My theory is that the ability to recall things one hears is commensurate with the quality of attention paid at the time of listening and much the same applies visually. Auditory-oriented people rely heavily on their sense of hearing and direct their attention primarily to sense. Visual-oriented people's mental attention is devoted heavily to processing data coming in from their eyes. The key in both cases, though, is attention.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Maister, I don't know that I completely agree with you. Before I did 4 years of an excess of medication, damaging many perfectly good brain cells (or outright killing them!), I used to remember things verbatim -- that people said, that I had written or read, etc. No, I do not have a photographic memory and I cannot tell you what the 5th word on the 12th line is but I used to be able to quote or closely paraphrase significant chunks of things I had read. My sister had this ability too. Some people just remember that stuff. Now that she and I are both memory impaired from our different medical ordeals, we have much more sympathy for the people we used to torture. We have made jokes about arguing with our husbands along the lines of "Yes, I DID tell you this. It was 3:17pm on a Tuesday afternoon 8 years ago. Quit making me repeat myself!!"

    My husband doesn't remember stuff like that. He tends to watch the same TV shows over and over ...and over...and over...driving me NUTS. By the time I have seen the same episode 3 or 4 times, I am going "And she is about to say....and then he will reply...and then they go to the restaurant...." and hubby would go "Shhhh. I don't remember who the murderer is. Don't ruin the plot for me!"

  7. #7
    My visual long-term memory is outstanding and I'm usually the person to be able to differentiate (chronologicaly) changes in developer's plans from memory.

    My short-term memory is and has always been pretty damn bad. I compensate by using as much routine in my life as possible (keys and wallet in the same place at night, every night and so forth). I'm not embarassed to say "I'm sorry, but I've forgotten your name".

    Interestingly, I could not remember the names my players on my 6-7 year old soccer team this fall until after they got their uniforms. Jacob was 4, Jakob was 7, Cody was 5, Codey was 9...visual memory, I guess.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
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  8. #8
    Cyburbian Floridays's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Super Amputee Cat
    My short term memory is pure crap. I can remember 1983 like it was yesterday, but can't remember where I parked the car.
    Ditto! I remember the details of things that happened when I was a child and high school and college...but now my short-term memory is really taking a beating!

    Try to beat this: I was carrying some stuff from my car to the house. I KNOW I had my car keys when I was at the front door. Now I cannot find them. I have searched high and low. They are likely in a random place, and I put em there thinking, "oh, I'll remember." NOT!
    (is this what happens right before you turn 40???)

  9. #9
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    Maister, I don't know that I completely agree with you. Before I did 4 years of an excess of medication, damaging many perfectly good brain cells (or outright killing them!), I used to remember things verbatim
    And I don't know that suffering some degree of brain damage would necessarily disprove the theory either, because it could still be argued that your qualtiy of attention suffered as a result.....perhaps a number of key neural pathways were interrupted which contribute to the brain's ability to focus attention. Although, in fairness it could just as well be argued the data storage cells were damaged or the transmission cells were damaged or whatever. Since there is neither evidence to prove or disprove at this point I guess it will remain a theory.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    And I don't know that suffering some degree of brain damage would necessarily disprove the theory either, because it could still be argued that your qualtiy of attention suffered as a result.....perhaps a number of key neural pathways were interrupted which contribute to the brain's ability to focus attention. Although, in fairness it could just as well be argued the data storage cells were damaged or the transmission cells were damaged or whatever. Since there is neither evidence to prove or disprove at this point I guess it will remain a theory.
    I also still take medication daily -- which certainly still impacts my memory. I have days that are better and days that are worse. But some folks remember this stuff and they don't necessarily have to "try" or "pay attention" -- they just remember it. (This is a topic I have kind of studied.) And if your mind works that way and you haven't studied the topic, it usually does not occur to you that other people really do not remember it. Like Wanigas, I used to figure people were just dishonest if they couldn't "keep their word". Now I know that not everyone remembers what they said verbatim several weeks ago and I don't make such a big deal of it (if it is important, document it when they say it). When I used to give my husband a hard time in arguments, quoting things he said 15 years earlier, I was extremely frustrated and I didn't understand that he didn't remember this stuff. He was THERE! I remember it -- quit jerking me around. I am not stupid! I know he heard it/said it/saw it/whatever -- just like me. And it is no sweat for me to remember -- surely HE remembers!

    EDIT: Maister, I think what you are trying to describe is the phenomena that brains wired a certain way more readily NOTICE certain types of information -- which is not the same thing as "paying attention to". It isn't a matter of trying to remember it or trying to notice it. Just like Gedunker couldn't remember the names of the kids until he saw them on their shirts -- he isn't putting in any more effort to remember those names now that he has seen them instead of hearing them. He is visual and he more readily notices and remembers visual information than he does auditory. It comes easily to him and he would have to actively make an effort to NOT notice the names on the kids' shirts -- his eye goes to it without him trying.
    Last edited by Michele Zone; 18 Nov 2004 at 4:20 PM.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    I've been told that my memory is like a sss...... What is that thing? Y'all know, that thingy. An iron clamp, or something like that. Whatever...

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by biscuit
    I've been told that my memory is like a sss...... What is that thing? Y'all know, that thingy. An iron clamp, or something like that. Whatever...
    Your memory is like onomonopea?

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    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I remember certain things I wrote, verbatim, going back 30 years or more. I think I can remember almost every zoning case I've dealt with in 17 years. On the other hand, ask me what I got for my birthday in May and I'm lost.

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Can you remember?

    I thought I would bring this one back...

    In this goal setting thing it asked to think back as to how you would introduce your self 10 years ago. It dawned on me that it was the summer before my Junior year of High School... but beyond that, I can’t remember anything going from month to month back then. I made a spread sheet with the month and year next to it from the month I was born till now, I am I am going to see how much I can fill in.

    Can you remember things such as Ex’s, teachers names, events, jobs, where you lived, and that type of thing 10 years ago? What about 20 years ago?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    Can you remember things such as Ex’s, teachers names, events, jobs, where you lived, and that type of thing 10 years ago? What about 20 years ago?
    I can remember all my teachers' and friends' names as far back as elementary school; and that was in the '60's. Middle and high school are a little dicier, since there were so many teachers. And yes, I remember many, many events, jobs, friends,etc.; but try my best to forget the ex's...

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Fort Wayne.








    Oops.....forgot what thread I'm on.

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    I thought I would bring this one back...

    Can you remember things such as Ex’s, teachers names, events, jobs, where you lived, and that type of thing 10 years ago? What about 20 years ago?
    I remember girl's phone numbers from High School, even Middle School, but I cannot remember my now girlfriend's old home number from before she moved in with me.

    I also remember much of a Spanish poem I had to memorize in High School too.
    It was about onions.
    Cebolla, luminosa redoma
    Petalo a petalo
    Se forma tu hermosilla
    (Or something like that. Sorry about the spelling Skel)

    Other than that I go through periods where I remember to do things, but I keep thinking I forgot to do it! Maybe I am going crazy.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
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    1995 - single, no debt, everything else is pretty much a fog. I do remember it being a lot of fun though

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    I pretty much have no short term memory. I don't know why - I'm not a pot-head, I've never been whacked on the head. If I had my way I would trade the stored up useless information for relevant land use law cases or the ability to remember to pay bills.

  20. #20
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    pretty good long term and short term memory, but only for info that I care to remember and/or internalize.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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  21. #21

    eiditic memory effecting your sleep

    i have something close to an eiditic memory, i have trouble with words, but basically anything the five senses can capture i remember. Oddly enough, the more time i spend with someone its like they're copied into my head. I lived alone for awhile and really had no kind social contact, so i would keep myself entertained by playing chess, and i would play one side as myself and one side as if my close friend was playing against me, because i would know how they would move because the number of games we've played.
    But carrying around people like that is starting to effect my ability to sleep. I've lossed a lot of people i've cared about and i only have them in my memory, and sometimes i can't stop the memories from coming forward. Sometimes i wish that it would just stop working so well, but i can't imagine what my life would be like without it. I was wondering if anyone else has their memory had negative effects on their life.
    thanks

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