Experiences we have all had: walking into a room with a tremendous sense of purpose, only to realize that you have completely forgotten what the purpose was. Talking to someone in a restaurant and losing the thread of your conversation because you’re distracted by the juicier one at the table next door. Slowing down as you walk because you’re thinking about how to phrase a text message.
[ted_talkteaser id=1878]In today’s talk, educational psychologist Peter Doolittle shares how each of these phenomena is related to working memory, that thing which allows us to store and process our immediate experiences and mix them with long-term memories.
“Life comes at us, and it comes at us very quickly,” says Doolittle. “What we need to do is take the amorphous flow of experience and somehow extract meaning from it with a working memory that is about the size of a pea.”
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