What is Short-term Memory?

Think of your short-term memory as a kind of “Post-it note” for your brain.

shortterm1Short-term memory refers to the very short time that you keep something in mind before either dismissing it or transferring it to long-term memory. Basically, it holds a small amount of information (typically around 7 items or less) in mind in an active, readily-available state for a short period of time (typically from 10 to 15 seconds, or sometimes up to a minute).

The central executive part of the prefrontal cortex at the front of the brain appears to play a fundamental role in short-term memory, serving as a temporary store for short-term memory.

There are a number of causes of short-term memory loss, such as:

  • lack of oxygen to the brain
  • concussions and head trauma
  • alcohol and drug abuse
  • medical conditions such as seizures, epilepsy, heart bypass surgery and depression

One of the first signs of dementia is short-term memory loss. As we grow older, the length of time our short-term memory can store information becomes shorter, making us more likely to have trouble keeping up with certain tasks. Also, our brains have less time to successfully move new information to long-term memory, making us more likely to forget details of recent events.

Memory lapses and cognitive decline are a normal part of aging, but not an inevitable one, you can work to slow down the process by maintaining a brain-healthy lifestyle and keeping your memory active.

If you are a baby boomer concerned about memory loss, check out Optiminds’ customized, skill-based programs designed to stimulate targeted areas of your brain. Optiminds professional brain training skills center has earned a reputation for helping people of all ages improve memory and cognitive skills. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at: optimindsct.com.

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