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Author Topic: Why do we sometimes forget the previous page of a book we're reading?  (Read 2406 times)

Offline lonequark

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does anyone know why it is possible when reading a book or newspaper to forget the content of the previous page?
« Last Edit: 23/08/2009 12:08:24 by chris »


 

Offline graham.d

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An interesting question. Sometimes I am not sure whether I read a page then forgot or whether my eyes were going through the motions of reading but my mind was elsewhere. I find this happens mostly when I'm tired, my mind is pre-occupied or I'm worried about something, or simply that the book/article is very boring. When I'm very tired and reading a novel I sometimes find myself carrying on the story in some sort of bizarre dream. I don't know whether I carry on turning the pages though - I doubt it.

Maybe we should be more surprised that we do remember things we read. Normally we fit the information into a picture or pattern that we form in the mind. I suspect remembering a list of unrelated words would not use the brain in the same way.
 

Offline Karen W.

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I have this problem all the time except It always takes two or three times through before I remember it. Some books are different... romance novels..LOL stick in my brain like candy in your teeth! LOL But many other types of books do not.. Many fix it manuals I have a really goo recall on I am not sure if it is the organization of the material or that I love fixing things.. at least I used to so perhaps I feel it less boring then other stuff..

I have a hard time with retention otherwise.
 

Offline Geezer

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In my case, I'm pretty sure my mind has drifted away and I'm thinking about something else.

What's even scarier is how I can drive for 30 minutes and not remember anything about the journey! Where was I? Who was actually driving? What speed was I going? Did I run any red ligts?
 

Offline graham.d

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Good point about the driving, Geezer, as many people (including me) experience that too. I suppose that must mean that the brain is working, absorbing and acting on information, but not committing it to conscious memory. With unconsciously reading a book you can't tell whether the brain is continuing to take in the data but not store it longer term or whether you have just switched off, but with driving it is certainly the case that the brain is working quite well even if you do not recall what it has been doing.
 

Offline John Chapman

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I am so, so glad these things happen to other people as well. This graceless slide into senility which accompanies my relentless tumble into aged decrepitude was beginning to dishearten me. Thank God Lonequark, Geezer and Graham are all as feeble as me. Not Karen, though. Mills and Boon therapy has kept her sharp as a button!
 
« Last Edit: 27/08/2009 01:04:46 by John Chapman »
 

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