Whew ..I thought It was me.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by MaxHeadRoom, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. MaxHeadRoom

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    Jul 18, 2013
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    It’s one of life’s little mysteries. The very second you walk into a room, you completely forget why the heck you went in there in the first place. Two seconds ago we knew exactly what we were doing. Now? Nada, zip, diddly squat…you get the idea.

    For years we’ve been wondering if it’s yet another downright annoying side effect of getting older. Wrinkles, under-eye bags and getting (even more) forgetful. But apparently science says it’s not our fault.

    Until recently, the bods in the know believed our memories were similar to a kind of filing system, with thoughts stored neat and tidily in their own little compartments. So when you wanted to recall a certain memory you could scan your ‘files’ and conjure it up. Simple!

    Or not. Because new reports suggest that’s actually not true at all and that the brain is way, way more complicated than that. Scrap the filing cabinet ideology, because scientists believe the brain is actually more like a computer on a busy work day with tonnes of tasks, applications and programmes all running at once. And it’s the result of these activities going on at the same time that cause those momentary bouts of forgetfulness as you walk into a different room.

    Dubbed ‘The Doorway Effect’, the finding comes on the back of a study from Indiana’s University of Notre Dame in which researchers asked 55 university students to play a computer game in which they moved through a virtual building; collecting and carrying objects from room to room.

    Every so often as the participants moved around the space, a picture of an object popped up on the screen. If the object shown was the one they were carrying or had just put down, the participants clicked ‘yes’. Sometimes these pictures appeared after the participant had walked into a room; other times they appeared while the participant was still in the middle of a room.

    The experiment was then repeated in real life and the results of both tests matched. Walking through a doorway made the students forget what they were doing, so the researchers concluded that our brains see doorways as a sort of memory cut-off point.

    So next time you walk into the kitchen to get your, er what did I come in here for again?, don’t beat yourself up about it. Science says it’s not your fault. And who are we to argue with science?
     
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  2. ericgibbs

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  3. OBW0549

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    One day a few years ago I got up from my desk and walked to the back of the building where my lab was. Got to the lab, couldn't remember what I'd come there for. Not a clue, although I did know that whatever it was, it was urgent. Dang! But knowing that retracing my steps and going back to my starting point usually jogged my memory, I trudged back to my office to see if I could remember why I'd gone to the lab. Stood in front of my desk wondering, "Why the hell did I come back to my office???" So, seeking to jog my memory once again, I went back to the lab. Got to the lab, couldn't remember why I'd come that time, either! Finally I decided, "Screw this" and just went to the break room for a cup of coffee. I never did figure out why I'd gone to the lab in the first place...
     
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  4. wayneh

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    I wonder how that can be reconciled with an old memory trick. Back when displaying your memory capabilities was a thing, some very skilled in the art said that they remembered enormous amounts of data by imagining it held in a big house. Information on a particular topic would be stored in an imaginary drawer in a room in the house. They could access detailed information on that topic by imagining themselves moving through the house and opening the drawer.
     
  5. MaxHeadRoom

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    Another similar trick of the mind is hardly believable if it were not for the pictures.
    R. Dawkins relates in one of his books how a Prof. associate at Oxford Univ. conducted an attention study with a group of about ten male and female undergraduates.
    He told them to form a ring and pass a ball in a random manner between them on the guise that a group of people were going to witness them and these individuals try to count the number of times they pass the ball.
    In fact he was testing the ten grads.
    At the end of the test, he asked the grads who had seen the gorilla, puzzled they all denied any presence of a gorilla, in fact not once, but twice, another fellow grad had appeared and entered then exited the ring wearing the ape suit.
    He was in the pictures taken of the test for proof.
    Max.
     
  6. OBW0549

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    But when I get to the house (in my imagination, of course), I probably won't remember what I went there for...
     
  7. GopherT

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    This doorway effect probably explains why big companies have moved Engineers to open floor plans or cube farms - no doorways, no forgetting & more productive employees. Now, are HR personnel really that smart? I think it is cost cutting and you can get more people in 1000 sq ft of cube farm than 1000 sq feet of offices but, you never know.
     
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  8. MrChips

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    It was in the early afternoon when the elderly chemistry professor looking somewhat lost in the middle of campus stopped a student.

    "Excuse me young man, when you saw me a few seconds ago, was I walking towards the science building or towards the University Club.

    "You were walking in the direction of the science building", replied the student.

    "Excellent, then I've already had lunch", said the professor with a sight of relief.
     
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  9. GopherT

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  10. #12

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    The way I heard this is that old people spend more time thinking about the hereafter.:rolleyes: They walk into a room and think, "What am I here after?"o_O
    I get so angry with myself when I realize I have gone back into the house twice and still didn't come out with the thing I keep remembering when I get in the car.:mad:
    Another aspect of this is called compartmentalization, and that is a skill...up to a point.
    Compartmentalization is how any kind of service person walks up to the next project and partitions off any prejudice that might carry over from the previous job.
     
  11. crutschow

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    If you don't see anything distasteful about a movie mocking the on-coming dementia of a former president, then you really are an engineer. :rolleyes:
     
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  12. GopherT

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    I was referencing post 8. I was also thinking, if you can't cure it and living with it is so sad, finding the humor in it may not be so bad.
     
  13. MrChips

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    I came here to post something now I can't remember what it was I wanted to post.
     
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  14. BR-549

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    Let's say you go thru your entire life in the present and never lose your bearing.

    Have you experienced reality?.....or been kept from it?
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  15. tracecom

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    Not in my experience.
     
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  16. cmartinez

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    Walking through a doorway and losing my sense of purpose is not the worst sensation I've experienced... the worst was when I took a wrong turn and headed to my workshop instead of the airport because I was thinking obsessively about solving a technical problem that had been pestering me for days... I almost lost my plane that time... horrible feeling...
     
  17. #12

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    One time I was at Universal Studios theme park in Orlando and saw a mock-up of the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. It was so accurate that it stopped me dead in my tracks while I thought, "Am I in Florida or California?"
    Then I looked for the taco stand that is to the left of the real Pantages Theater. It wasn't there, so I must be in Florida.:D
     
  18. cmartinez

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    Strange... there are many taco stands down here, and I've never seen the Pantages Theater besides any of them... :p
     
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  19. profbuxton

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    It usually happens when one gets distracted when setting off to do task A or to fetch object A and then seeing task B or object B and and forgets task A , object A and proceeds to task C, object C. I just stop and mentally retrace steps and usually it works.
     
  20. RichardO

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    Here is an example of the "invisible gorilla test":
     
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