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Distractions Hinder Memory

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Did you ever wonder why you can memorize something quickly for a test or for a company presentation but then quickly forget what you committed to your short-term memory? There is a reason.

The fewer irrelevant items you keep in mind, the more capacity you have for remembering important things.

College students were shown a screen with colored dots. Scientists compared their ability to remember what they saw in the presence or the absence of distracting dots.

Scientists discovered that people who had the irrelevant distracter objects in mind were less efficient at remembering objects than those who were more selective.

It makes sense. The big question is, how do you rid yourself of distractions?

More from Dr. Brian McDonough

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