Earlier today, while my wife and I were out shopping, we tried without success to recall the name of a very familiar restaurant in the nearby town of Carrboro. We were having what folks in our retirement community call a “senior moment,” a familiar occurrence, alas. Not of itself a notable event. But as we drove on, I reflected that I could easily and precisely recall where the restaurant is, how to drive to it, what it looks like, what is on the menu, several times when we have been there – virtually everything about it but its name.
This is characteristic of such senior moments. Several years ago I was unable for some time to recall the name of a famous operatic soprano, Kathleen Battle. I would go and get the CD I have of her singing arias with Winton Marsalis accompanying her, I would say to myself “Kathleen Battle, Kathleen Battle, KB, KB” and yet ten minutes later I could not recall her name, even though I could hear her in my head and even sing along with some of the arias.
So today I started to wonder, where in the brain are stored all the details I can recall of the restaurant, and where is stored its name? Has anyone done research on this phenomenon?
Is there someone out there reading this who knows?