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Recent Memory

Recent memory
Recent memory is the ability to remember information from minutes, hours, or days ago.

Listen to the following scenario that illustrates an everyday example of recent memory in action. Click the audio icon when ready.

Play Audio  Transcript Demonstration of Recent Memory : "What are we doing tomorrow night?"
<a href="../pages/recent.wma">Download movie</a>

Demonstration of Recent Memory

M is the male speaker.
F is the female speaker.

M. What are we doing tomorrow night?

F. We're going to your Mother's, remember?

M. What...wait a minute, When did that happen?

F. I told you yesterday. Remember I...

M. No, No, not yesterday. I'm sorry, I would have Mother's. No.

F. Yep. She called and she said we were to go for dinner and then go out to that thing in the evening.

M. You told me?

F. I did. Honest.

M. O Lord!

Test Your Recent Memory
Do you remember the title of this website? What was one of the objectives listed at the beginning of this section? What did you have for breakfast today? Yesterday? What did you talk about in your last phone conversation with your mother/cousin? What was the name of someone you met for the first time last week?

Did you know?
When people say, "My memory ain't what it used to be" they are most likely referring to their recent memory. Under normal conditions, recent memory changes gradually over time. It is not something that happens quickly or overnight. Therefore, abrupt changes in memory capacity may be a result of other factors.

Effects of aging on Recent Memory
Recent memory ability declines with age. Older people have more difficulty recalling information from recent memory.

Tips to maintain or even improve your Recent Memory
Do things that are enjoyable to you such as:

  • Keeping your mind active. Studies indicate that engaging in intellectual pursuits (reading, problem solving, etc.) helps memory retention. As well, many "memory aid" books are available that list strategies to help memory retention.
  • Keeping your body active. Studies indicate that there may be a correlation between physical activity and memory retention, i.e. exercise helps memory.

View Chart Recent Memory : Age range in relationship to the number of facts recalled.

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