Short Term Memory Loss - What It Is, What Causes It, and How To Prevent It

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Short-term memory loss, what it is, what causes it, and how to prevent it -- check this out.

Hey, guys, this is Ron White. Maybe you saw me on Stan Lee's Super Humans on the History

Channel or the National Geographic show, Brain Games. When I was training for the USA Memory

Championship, and I'm a two-timer USA Memory Champion, I would store information in my

short-term and my long-term memory. What is short-term memory? Short-term memory is anything

that's in your memory for just 15 to 30 seconds. If it makes it past that 30-second mark, it's

considered to be long-term memory. Examples of short-term memory might be temporarily

remembering or memorizing a phone number until you have a chance to write it down. You just

say it over and over in your brain -- 867-5309 -- until you have a chance to write it down.

Another example of short-term memory is when you're having a conversation with someone,

and you think of something that you want to say, and you hold that in your short-term

memory until you are able to fit it into the conversation. A 50-year-old study suggests

that the brain can hold, on average, seven pieces of information in the short-term memory.

More recent and modern studies, though, suggest this number is closer to four pieces of information.

Now, a lot of people may get panicked because they have short-term memory loss. But, here

are some examples of short-term memory loss that are absolutely normal and nothing to

worry about. Misplacing common objects, like your keys -- totally normal. Another example

would be not being able to think of the right word -- totally normal. Not being able to

remember what you just read or walking into a room and not remembering why you are there

are also examples of normal short-term memory loss. Even occasionally calling someone by

the wrong name is nothing to really be that worried about.

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