The Quick Visual Test That Reveals If You Have Perfect Short-Term Memory

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woman with puzzle face

We tend to take our ability to remember things like faces, phone numbers, other people's names, and events for granted until they are impaired by memory loss due to Alzheimer’s disease and other illnesses.

Our working memory is important in storing data we may need to retrieve at a later time. Your short-term memory and long-term memory are the two types of memory that help you recall familiar things. The closer you are to an event, the easier it is to recall, but as time goes on the details can become more and more difficult to remember.

Short-term memory loss is scary because one would expect things that they just saw to be front of mind. If you feel like you are having trouble with your recollection, you can test your short-term memory to see if it is as perfect as you hope it is.

Take this test to reveal if you have the perfect short-term memory.



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TikToker cloutatlas shared a short-term memory test to gauge how good you are at remembering “places, faces, and tasks.” If you are able to pass each of the 3 levels of the test, you can rest assured that your ability to recall is intact and functioning properly.

He starts by telling viewers that there are three levels to the test: easy, medium, and hard. You have 10 seconds to remember 10 images that appear in three horizontal rows.

The top four images are a building, a woman, an airplane, and a car. On the middle row are a horse, spoon, net, and robot. And finally, the bottom row has a skull and a taco. The objects appear one by one, allowing you time to take each in.

After the 10 seconds is up, the images are replaced by numbers 1-10. And above them, one of the pictures you just saw is displayed.

The first is a taco. You must identify the corresponding number where the taco was located. Level two is the woman, and you pick the number she is hidden under. Lastly, the robot is shown, and the viewer selects that number it appeared under.

If you could guess all three of the items, you have great short-term memory and have no need for concern. But if you were not able to guess any of them, you might need to find out if you are having difficulty remembering things.

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What is short-term memory?

Short-term memory is the ability to remember things that you just learned. It allows you store a small amount of information in your mind for a brief period of time.

Psychologists believe you can store a maximum of about seven items in your short-term memory. After that, you either commit them to your mind long-term or let them go.

The period of time short-term memories are stored is brief and can be up to a minute, but is usually more like 20-30 seconds. Unless you repeat the information over and over to save them to your mental database, they will dissipate fast.

Short-term memory is also highly susceptible to interference. The moment you are bombarded with new memories to temporarily keep, they will replace the old ones, which will vanish without a trace.

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Short Term Memory vs. Long Term Memory

The differences between short-term and long-term memory are simple. Short-term memory is limited in both capacity and duration, while your long-term memory has an unlimited capacity and can hold details for an infinite amount of time.

If you hope to retain a fleeting memory, you must intentionally transfer it into your long-term memory. Think of the mind as a warehouse where some items that come in are shipped out immediately, while others are added to the inventory and stored indefinitely.

How do you test for short-term memory?

Your short-term memory begins to decline around the age of 35. It is totally natural to not be able to recall things as well as you did before, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you are afflicted with dementia or other memory problems.

You can have your memory tested by a medical professional if you have concerns.

At-home memory tests, like the one by the TikToker or an online memory quiz offered by the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation, can give you insight into how well you remember.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.