Any section of Talmud study falls on a spectrum for the student. The student may decide how intense of a regiment he wishes to undertake. Usually, a student will wish to understand the words of the text at is most basic level. Such a level, however simple it may be, requires mental exertion by the student. Take an example where the Talmud use the phrase בשלמא. Oftentimes the syntactic construction will be such like ‘bishlama to Rabbi X’; roughly translated as ‘this [just mentioned statement] is well fitting [with the opinion] of Rabbi X’. The student who requires even basic comprehension must recall Rabbi X’s opinion in order to properly understand the Talmud’s assertion. There are also other similar cases which may more closely mirror yours. For example, say the Talmud will discuss a certain case, and only afterwards will it be revealed that this case was part of a four part series of opinions help by Rabbi X. The Talmud, in enumeration of the four cases, will spell out the first case only by saying ’the case which we have mentioned’, (כדאמרן). Also, take for example the classic construction, ‘this is difficult to X’. The first question the student must answer is ‘what is difficult?’, and ‘why is it difficult?’ You may find congruence in your case of discussion. If you desire even simple understanding, asking yourself the question ‘what was just asked?’ and ‘what was just answered’ will arrive in a very natural way.
Consider also when the Talmud rarely states ‘as we will state later’ or ‘as we stated earlier’. In all these, indeed, true vigilance and focus is required.