Forgetting is normal, but if recurrent, it can reflect on more serious problems related to cognition. In World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, understand when episodes can characterize something more serious. September 21st is Disease Awareness Day. When we think about memory care, gerontologist and scientific partner of the brain gymnastics company, Profa. Dr. Thais Bento, it is important to understand that some skills are integrated into its functioning. Since memory is not a single skill, it is a set of skills, and attention is part of its functioning.
The gerontologist explains that according to the Neurosciences of aging, that memory is a complex mental skill, with several subsystems, being characterized in stages such as: receiving information, storage, recording and later evocation or rescue. of the stored information. “For a memorization process to be effective it is necessary that we are attentive, that is, focused and concentrated on the first stage of memorization processing, which is the receipt of information”, she detailed.
Also called attentional capacity, this is the brain function responsible for choosing the stimuli that represent the focus of greatest interest to the individual at a given moment, having great importance for performing tasks in their daily lives.
Science describes in its definition, four major types: divided attention, alternating attention, concentrated and selective attention. Divided attention is characterized as traditionally, when the person has a focus on at least two simultaneous stimuli, called stimuli and goals.
The alternating attention has also been called our mental flexibility, being equally defined as the possibility of responding to one stimulus or another.
Focused attention is also found in science, which has been defined as the ability to select the relevant stimulus from the environment and direct one’s attention to that stimulus.
“As the amount of stimuli we receive daily is immense, our brain is constantly in a selection process. In this sense, selective attention is the ability to select a type of information by excluding others, and for that we use several neural mechanisms” , he explained.
Why is forgetting normal?
On a day-to-day basis, we are often dealing with numerous demands or situations, and many times we do not pay due attention to what we are doing, or to the important information that we need to retain, at this moment the quality of the memorization process is influenced, and we have a inefficient memorization process. We are often overloaded with information arriving simultaneously. So remember to have a good memorization process we need to have a good attention performance.
“And not all forgetfulness is a memory problem can be related to inattention. Stress situations, anxiety, sadness, agitation and worries interfere in the focus of our attention”, detailed Thais Bento.
However, if the forgetfulness that the person presents interferes with the quality of their daily tasks and is frequent and intense, as well as generating irritability, and damages in social relationships, it is important to seek a specialized professional and carry out a cognitive assessment. Because interfering with the performance of daily tasks and social relationships, they indicate that forgetfulness is frequent to the point of signaling a pathological aging process and that brain health needs to be investigated.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Brazilian Association of Gerontology (ABG) and Supera – Gymnastics for the brain hold an important event on aging. On September 17 (Saturday), from 8 am to 4 pm, gerontologists, neuroscientists and aging specialists will speak at Teatro Gazeta, on Avenida Paulista, in São Paulo, about advances and studies related to dementia and the importance of giving brain the right stimuli throughout life.
Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month – also known as Purple September, is also the month of greatest mobilization for dementia in the world.
The free event will be in a hybrid format with in-person lectures at the theater and live broadcast on Youtube. Registration, the full schedule of lectures and more information via the link: https://linktr.ee/setembroroxo
Some tips to improve attention and concentration:
Set goals for the activities you intend to carry out on the day, thus avoiding forgetting important tasks;
Do one activity at a time, the more focused you are, the less the overload for attention and the less likely you are to forget to complete some step of the task performed;
Read from a short text about the environment, culture or health, or a poem and mentally count how many times a given syllable or word appears in the text;
Read a sequence of three words in a given order and then repeat them in reverse order.
Perform mental calculation activities, on the abacus, or soroban, in order to enhance your performance of visual attention, concentration, reasoning and calculation;
Perform visual attention activities: such as the game of seven or eight errors, in which the same figure is compared, but with some differences present, which the participant will need to consider as an error between the figures.
Perform activities that are pleasurable for you, thus avoiding the feeling of stress, anxiety and sadness.
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