Professor Catherine Loveday, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, was interviewed for an article in The Times newspaper about how to boost your brain power after a year of life online.
In the article, Professor Loveday spoke about why we keep forgetting things, which she said is most likely due to our dull, samey and screen-filled lives during the pandemic. She said: “If you are always doing the same thing your brain doesn’t bother to encode every single thing as a new event – it just goes ‘Oh, that’s another one of those’. Even if you are doing something really important, your hippocampus is saying ‘Nope, nothing new here, don’t need to bother’.”
She added: “A lot of us are having the same conversations with our families in the same room, over the same devices as work conversations, so there’s nothing to distinguish each one. With screens, there is an impoverished level sensory input to contend with too. The less you engage, the less you remember.”
Talking about how many people are struggling to string a sentence together, Professor Loveday said this is likely to be a result of the memory part of our brains not firing on all cylinders. She said: “Word finding is the first cognitive memory-based function to go when we are not on good form…Word finding is also is also impacted by stress and distraction. We have a limited working memory capacity and if what is taking up that space is worry and stress, there is not much room for anything else.”