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Does this happen to anyone else?

  1. Jun 1, 2009 #1
    I've noticed that I'm having problems with my memory. For example: I had a course on optics just two months ago, whilst I remember the general ideas, some of the main formulas I can't remember the finer details such as the types of chromatic aberrations what f#'s mean and so forth. This has happened to me with other subjects as well, after about a few months I will tend to forget theorems in calculus and so forth. Is this a common problem or is my memory somehow defunct?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 1, 2009 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Maybe you've just got the same problem that http://ircamera.as.arizona.edu/NatSci102/images/extbrainfull.htm [Broken] has. :biggrin:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Jun 1, 2009 #3
    I think its natural to forget most things without intense repition outside of class. So yes, what you are experiencing is normal. For example, I don't remember how to find normal modes but I'm sure if I picked up my book I could re-learn it fairly easily. If you feel your memory is failing you, try to get some ginseng and ginko pills. I have used them in organic chemistry and they greatly aided in memorinzg the reactions.
  5. Jun 1, 2009 #4
    Thats funny. Lol.

    Are there any side effects from these pills?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. Jun 1, 2009 #5
    No, you are alone.
    You should go to a physician and get your brain examined, it got to be broken since its hard drive is experiencing unadministered loss of data.
  7. Jun 1, 2009 #6
    They are common herbs that you can get at any convinience / pharmaceutical store, so they are relatively safe. Side effects are things like headaches, dizziness, or insomnia. If you are already on meds you might want to check with your doctor, because these herbs essentially work by expanding your blood vessels to enhance circulation. So medicine will be more potent if more of it is getting pumped into your head. Obviously, if you have problems with your blood (ie pressure or clotting) you might want to check with your doc as well.

    And I just remembered how to find normal modes, so that is super cool.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  8. Jun 1, 2009 #7
    There is perhaps a problem of concentration. Try not to make two things simultaneously; if you are for example eating, taking a walk, or whatever you are doing, don’t think about another thing but in what you are just doing.
  9. Jun 1, 2009 #8
    I don't think it anything wrong. I have had much the same problem all my life and it has not really changed in more than half a century. If I am doing something like, for example, a transmission line calculation, and someone walks up and asks me Newton's second law, I will often stare blankly and ask who the heck Newton is. An hour later, if I'm doing stress FEAs, I won't remember who Ohm is. I keep a little notebook handy for quick reference; usually just a glance refreshes my memory.
  10. Jun 1, 2009 #9
    I can't tell you what newtons second law is but I can tell you all the fundamental laws of physics. Names are abstract, so they are hard to remember, and the names aren't what is important either.
  11. Jun 1, 2009 #10
    Well if this is true then...er..sorry I forgot what I was going to say.
  12. Jun 1, 2009 #11


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    Gold Member

    Take some time out to do some serious memorizing man. I don't know why but I can recount 90% of all the things I have learned in the last 3 years without much effort quite vividly.

    Oh and when you said Newton's three laws all of them just came racing through my mind =S.

    Not trying to brag or anything but I'm showing that we're all made differently so no one should worry too much =]
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  13. Jun 1, 2009 #12


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    Happens to me a lot. Typically when I go back and look up whatever I'm forgetting, it all comes rushing back out of my brain. It's like my brain is hiding information from me in it's own sick little prank. Oh well, we're all different.
  14. Jun 1, 2009 #13


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  15. Jun 1, 2009 #14


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    Education Advisor

    The mind works best with frequent repetition. In grammar school and high school when a student is exposed to new concepts, those concepts are frequently repeated and integrated into further lessons. At the university level, especially in senior years, new concepts can often be introduced for a single class and then not seen again - at least for several months, which makes them more difficult to remember. Also the complexity of the concepts has generally increased significantly. Hence they become more difficult to commit to long-term memory.

    This is common for everyone. The good news, is that aside from exams, you can always look up stuff that you've studied.

    Also, I would highly suggest against using drugs or herbal supplements based on the advice of posters in an internet forum. This is the kind of thing that's best to talk over with medical professionals.
  16. Jun 2, 2009 #15
    Her recollection is almost exclusively limited to events that have happened during her life, and are largely confined to either personal or media-reported events. That is, she can't tell you when the Magna Carta was signed, but she can tell you the dates of any plane crash in the last 40 years, what was on TV that night, and what the weather was like outside. It's a kind of OCD that can be likened to staring at a mirror; do so long enough and you'll be able to recall not just the details of your face, but anything going on in your immediate vicinity. Beyond the scope of that reflection, however...

    I bring that up not simply to quibble over trivia, but to illustrate a fundamental point about memory and memorization. It's a matter of repetition. Some people are fortunate in that they more easily 'lock-down' certain facts, but it's only by frequently revisiting and reviewing those facts that they are embedded in one's memory.

    As long as you're not experiencing significant or profound, inexplicable memory loss (i.e., your name, names of family/friends, your address, etc.) then you're more than likely perfectly fine. In fact, you're normal. Flash cards, reviewing notes, rereading a section in your book... these are all things that will help turn the information you mentioned into something that you can easily recall.
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