Friday, January 25, 2013

Groundhog day

Turns out memory and attention are different. And related. A lot of things that seem like short-term memory issues are actually deficits in attention.
Part of "Frequency and Volume" by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
For example, leaving a jacket in the coat check at a museum. It starts with an innocent detour to the gift shop. There, any jacket thoughts completely go away and you take a straight line to the exit. Outside, it is not cold. You might be thinking about where to buy a stamp and whether you'll make the 4:09 express train home.

The speech therapist wants me to think of a technique, one that could possibly have enabled remembering the jacket.

Then we did another test, this one for "divided attention". That's what they call processing when there's multiple things going on. Multitasking. It was a tape of a man talking, with a low-level narration in the background, as if the radio were on. You listen for certain patterns in what he says. On the first round I missed a couple. During a break she explained which ones.

On the second round I missed exactly the same ones. Welcome to my world.

It feels like I am always fixing things. Under that, it feels like being punished for escaping, for losing myself in the art at MOMA. On the other hand fixing this requires another trip to the museum, more art. So that might swing things to the plus side.

"Bring the claim check", said the security guy. It's around here somewhere...

1 comment :

  1. Lists? I live by lists, but I know it's not for everyone.
    I know you know this, but - forgetting your coat doesn't make you a terrible person. Going to enjoy art doesn't make you a terrible person. You're you, and you're pretty awesome. Being you isn't cause for punishment. I know you know, but sometimes we all need reminding.