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I have a brain question for you:

Does this happen to you, or is it a unique feature of my brain?

I’ve noticed something interesting about my brain, and I’m curious if others have experienced similar phenomena.

It has to do with accessible working memory after reading. For some reason, when I read- which I do frequently and quickly- I often forget what I have read. I am sure it’s not an issue of Visual Processing and decoding that is affecting my working memory (which can occur if someone is dyslexic or has Irlen Syndrome or other visual processing challenges.) Perhaps it is related to my thought processes while reading.

I often find myself pondering about what I am reading as I am reading it, and I almost feel as if I automatically synthesize what I have read into formulated concepts, ideas, and opinions- which I do remember- but I forget all of the details that have led me to these thoughts.

I feel like my brain somehow automatically filters out all of the “unnecessary details” the minute I have formulated concepts in my mind. The problem is that I don’t always want this process to be automatic, because I often want to remember the details- but I don’t seem to have any control over the “auto-erase”.

What’s even more interesting about this process is that when I go back to re-read the book/material in order to remember what I read, the minute I see the written words on the page/screen, I recognize them and know I have read them. In addition, I can quickly scan through the document to locate the specific things I am looking for, and I remember the order they were written in.

Perhaps there is a glitch between my visual memory, which is very strong- and my working memory, which gets distracted by deep thought or makes nonlinear connections while I am reading?

What do you think? Can you relate to this? I’m really curious to know!

Also, if anyone has any creative suggestions as to how to bypass this (I highlight and make notes if I must remember something), I’d be delighted to hear them.


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Jacki Edry

Jacki Edry

Jacki Edry is a graduate of Hampshire College and has an extensive background in education, writing, and marketing. She has been exploring the world of autism and neurodiversity for over thirty-five years. 

2 Responses

  1. I definitely relate to this, and had assumed that it was just a sign that I’m not as young as I used to be (although I am only in my 50s) or that I need more sleep and to be less busy.

    1. Thanks, Miriam! That makes complete sense to me. I imagine that is part of what is going on to me as well!

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