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Quiz: How is your memory holding up?

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Most adults can't remember anything that happened before they were three years old.

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Most adults can't remember anything that happened before they were three years old.

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  • Correct Answer:

Most adults can remember only one or two events before they were four years old and nothing before they were three years old. Children begin to have semantic memories (identifying objects in their environment) by 10 to 12 months, and they appear to develop episodic memories (of things that happened earlier in time) by 20 to 24 months. Young children may be unable to form memories solid enough to survive into adulthood until they can think of their experiences in words.

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Which of the following helps turn short-term memories into long-term memories?

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Which of the following helps turn short-term memories into long-term memories?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Studies show that the human sleep cycle is crucial for creating memories. If something important happens to you during the day, your brain strengthens your perceptions of that event overnight while you rest.

A short-term memory is likely to become a long-term memory if it has some sort of relationship to:

A short-term memory is likely to become a long-term memory if it has some sort of relationship to:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Information stored in your memory can be classified according to length: short-term; long-term (or remote); and recent (or working). A short-term memory must be meaningful in some way to make a lasting impression on you. The more connections that exist between that particular memory and your bank of long-term memories, the easier it will be for you to recall it.

Researchers think a long-term memory fades because:

Researchers think a long-term memory fades because:

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  • Correct Answer:

Most researchers think that once information has been stored in long-term memory, it is there permanently. However, sometimes we can't find a way to retrieve the information because the link (or association) has faded. Short-term memories fade quickly, sometimes after only a few seconds. Recent, or working, memories are often replaced by incoming information.

Which of the following is more likely to help you remember to pick up the dry cleaning after work?

Which of the following is more likely to help you remember to pick up the dry cleaning after work?

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Remembering to do something, like run an errand or take daily medication, is called "prospective" memory. Researchers have found that following through on this type of task is related more to a memory trigger, such as seeing a dry cleaning receipt or driving past a pharmacy, than to having the task committed to memory.

Which of the following can cause memory problems?

Which of the following can cause memory problems?

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  • Correct Answer:

Memory problems can be caused by many physical and psychological conditions not related to ageing, including dehydration, infections and stress. Other causes of memory problems include medications, substance abuse, poor nutrition, depression, anxiety and thyroid imbalance.

Everyone suffers some memory loss as a normal part of ageing.

Everyone suffers some memory loss as a normal part of ageing.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Some memory loss can occur with age, but not everyone experiences it. People who are more active, both mentally and physically, tend to have better memory function than people who live a sedentary, mentally unchallenging lifestyle.

You're more likely to maintain your memory into old age if you keep to yourself and don’t have much interaction with others.

You're more likely to maintain your memory into old age if you keep to yourself and don’t have much interaction with others.

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  • Correct Answer:

Studies have shown that older people who are socially active or live with someone tend to maintain better cognitive health.

You're more likely to have age-related memory loss if you have high blood pressure.

You're more likely to have age-related memory loss if you have high blood pressure.

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High blood pressure can affect blood vessels that supply the brain and contribute to memory loss. The reverse also may be true, as studies indicate that aerobic exercise is associated with improved memory.

Which of the following is thought to help older people maintain a better memory?

Which of the following is thought to help older people maintain a better memory?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Mentally challenging activities, such as crossword puzzles and board games, and physical activity, such as brisk walking, may help maintain brain function and preserve memory. One study also suggests that meditation can benefit seniors with memory problems in just eight weeks.

When an older person forgets where he parked the car, it may be caused by a lack of attention rather than a lapse in memory.

When an older person forgets where he parked the car, it may be caused by a lack of attention rather than a lapse in memory.

  • Your Answer:
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As we age, it can become more difficult to pay attention to more than one thing at a time, so if an older person is distracted by a conversation when he’s parking the car, he may not know where it is later. If you’re having trouble with things like that, make sure your attention is focused when you’re parking the car or putting away your keys so you can find them later.

Memory problems are one of the first signs of Alzheimer's disease.

Memory problems are one of the first signs of Alzheimer's disease.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Memory problems are the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. In fact, even before patients develop Alzheimer's disease, they often suffer from a condition called mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which includes a greater level of memory loss than is normal for their age. Not all people with MCI go on to develop Alzheimer's disease, however.

Which of the following is an indication of a serious memory problem?

Which of the following is an indication of a serious memory problem?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Forgetting where you put your keys, forgetting words or names, and taking longer to learn new things are indications of mild forgetfulness, which is common as we age. However, getting lost in places you know well can signal a more serious problem such as Alzheimer's disease, depression, or a blood clot. Other signs of a serious memory problem include asking the same questions repeatedly, not being able to follow directions, becoming confused about time, people, and places, and forgetting to take proper care of yourself.

You may be more likely to develop dementia if your spouse has dementia.

You may be more likely to develop dementia if your spouse has dementia.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

One study found that older men living with wives with dementia had an almost 12-fold increased risk of developing dementia. Elderly women whose husbands developed dementia had a four times increased risk. Even so, most people in the study did not develop dementia when their spouse did. The stress of being a carer, which has been linked to depression and poorer overall health, may be a factor.

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Your Score:   You correctly answered   out of   questions.
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RESULTS: Great job! You have a good grasp of how memory works.

RESULTS: Not bad, but you can do better. Try the quiz again.

RESULTS: You can do better. Try the quiz again.

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