What causes us to forget what were planning to say?


Example: My fiancé calls me and has a conversation with me. At the end, she will sometimes say something like ” There was one more thing I wanted to say, but I cant remember what it was..”

What’s making our brains do this?

In: 7

We only have so much working memory, and it’s used for storing the list of things we need to talk about, the specifics of those things, and for the conversation itself. Sometimes the work of conversation knocks one of the specifics out, but doesn’t knock out the entry in the list that refers to it.

The working memory idea of temujin9 can be correct in some cases, but it is likely context.

We do not memorize things in chronological order. We memorize things and tag them with associations. So you remember the details of your kitchen as a group. And you remember the smell of baking bread with the kitchen. And you remember conversations you had with in the kitchen with the kitchen.

This is why you can think of something you need in the living room, then go into the kitchen and not be able to remember why you went in there. Your brain switched from living room associations where you put the memory of what you needed to the kitchen associations which does not include what you needed.

So if you are having a conversation about tonka trucks and think of something to say, but the conversation changes to beanie babies, you may not be able to remember what you wanted to say because your brain is no longer thinking of tonka truck associations but beanie baby associations.

That’s why going back through the conversation to what you were talking about before can trigger your memory. You now have the correct association and your brain recalls what you wanted to talk about.