“You just don’t listen to me!”
Have you ever heard that? If you have, then does that mean you were listening?
Yes, I was listening to you. I could repeat every word you said. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I heard. And if I heard, that doesn’t mean I remembered. Or that I can recall it.
It’s all in the brain.
Working memory – I can remember a telephone number long enough to dial it (“dial???”); then it’s gone.
Short term memory – I can remember it for a while.
Long term memory – I remember it a long time. However, what I recall is not necessarily accurate. It’s stored as a group of high points and when recalled, our imagination fills in the gaps. However, we experience it as totally accurate, the way it really happened. Further, each time we recall and then restore a memory it is changed, so when we recall it again, it will be different but still seem totally real and accurate.
Anatomy – Working memory in prefrontal cortex. Requires transfer to hippocampus to become long term. Probably the amygdala has to label it important for this to occur. Requires the basal ganglia to recall it.
Note: This is extremely oversimplified and probably wrong, but the best I can understand it now.
But with ADHD
- These are exactly the areas that are miswired. Therefore, guess what—?
- Our mythical focus center does not turn on like vanillas, but requires special circumstances.
- We are generally over loaded, overwhelmed, and distracted at any given minute.
- My best guess is that I store and can recall things that have a big emotional impact on me or that my unconscious labels as essential to my survival or that for some reason I have an intense personal interest in. Otherwise, they are in and out.
- Thus, if you tell me you are going to the grocery store, although you are extremely important to me, that fact is not. But if you told me you were going to a Raven’s football game, or to visit the doctor to see if you have heart disease, bet I would remember that.
- But I was listening; my failings lie in what happens after that.
- See Note above.