Forgetful? or maybe I never learned it?

An interesting new study by a team at the University of Rochester Medical Center seems to indicate that perhaps when women think they can’t remember something, it’s really that they may never have really gotten it in the first place. “The team found a link between complaints of forgetfulness and the way middle-aged, stressed women learn or ‘encode’ new information.”

Mapstone and Weber liken the problem of encoding new information to a situation where a doctor tells a patient that something serious may be wrong and gives a lot of detail. Afterwards, the person gets home and can hardly remember what the doctor said. It’s not that the person necessarily forgot what was said; it’s more likely that they never really heard the doctor the first time, because they were so anxious and worried.

Here’s the rest of the article.

This may be the best reason to take someone with you to the doctor’s office if you’re worried about what he may say. Or why it’s a good idea to take an advocate with you to your child’s IEP meeting. It’s not an indication of your ability to speak for yourself, but might sure be a help when you are trying to remember later what went on. I wonder if there may be a further link to the ability to ask good questions of care providers when you are stressed or worried. Take advantage of the dispassionate third party when you can. That’s what friends are for!