Ever wonder where you’ve left your keys? Of course, you have. No one ever knows where they’ve left their keys. While that might be an overstatement, all of us tend to forget even the simplest of details every now and then. Chances are, if I ask you what color shirt or blouse your significant other wore two days ago, you aren’t going to remember.
When things like this happen, it’s quite easy to become frustrated. Don’t fret anymore, though. According to the Wall Street Journal, our forgetfulness can be easily attributed to two small factors that can be easily rectified.
There are often many factors to our forgetfulness, however, there are two that contribute in a big way – especially in consideration of those keys you are still looking for: 1. we fail to activate memory during the task at hand – putting down your keys on the kitchen counter – or 2.
When you encode a memory into the brain, it’s the hippocampus that is activated, taking a sort of screenshot which is preserved in your brain’s neurons. This neurons are then activated later when trying to recall the memory. The problem is, sometimes, when not really paying attention to the act of putting down your keys, the emphasis of memory consolidation isn’t really on the keys. For example, if you pull up your driveway and notice that someone has stolen your newspaper again, as you deposit your keys on the counter, you might be all-too-focused on your fury that when you’re all calmed down later and look for them, the memory might be harder to access due to the memory being so closely consolidated with your previous emotions of rage.
This means that interference or “noise” when trying to remember something will really affect what you’ll be remembering when you need to – or whether you’ll be remembering it at all.
Thankfully, there are a few tips. However, they aren’t really anything you haven’t heard of before. Writing down reminders as to where you’ve left something can help, and so does To-Do lists, as to helping you keep organized. Retracing your steps can also benefit you into remembering, and maybe even yelling something while setting something down.
However, now you know why you’re forgetting your keys where you did. Now actually go find those keys!