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Five ways you could become a memory champion

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190329-five-ways-you-could-become-a-memory-champion#

bbc.com

Five ways you could become a memory champion
Most of us wish we had better memories. If only we didn't get to the shop, knowing we must buy three things, but only remembering two. If only we didn't go upstairs, only to forget why we went up there. If only we could read information and take it all in easily, instead of it disappearing quickly from our minds.

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Walking backwards

Walking backwards

Backwards walking (whether real, imaginary, or virtual) can boost your short-term memory. 

To go back in time, it might help to go backwards in space. Moving backwards through space appears to carry the our minds backward along that subjective timeline toward the point at which the remembered information was encoded, thus improving our recall.

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Drawing to remember

Drawing to remember

When we draw something we are forced to consider in more detail and it’s this deeper processing that makes us more likely to remember it.

Even writing a list helps somehow, which is why when you get to the shop and realise you’ve left your shopping list at home, you can still remember more items than if you hadn’t written a list at all. However, doing a drawing takes it one step further.

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Exercise, but get the timing right

Exercise, but get the timing right

When you want to learn something in particular, then physical effort does seem to help, at least in the short-term. 

In an experiment, people that did 35 minutes of interval training 4 hours after learning a list of pictures paired with locations were better at remembering the pairs than those who did the interval training straight away.

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Taking mental breaks

Taking mental breaks

For healthy people, a short break immediately after learning something makes a difference to how much they could remember a whole week later the learning took place.

New memories are fragile, so even a short break can make a difference to whether they hang around or disappear.

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Sleep and memory

Sleep and memory

Sleep is thought to help consolidate our memories by replaying or reactivating the information we’ve just learned.

That sleep doesn’t have to happen at night. Naps work too, bur mostly for people who are accustomed to regularly taking a nap in the afternoon. 

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Science of Memory

  1. Encoding - the stage when the brain consciously acknowledges information based on our senses. When we attach meaning or factual knowledge to any of this sensory input, that'...

Lifestyle Changes That Can Improve Memory

  • Get a good night's sleep or take a power nap after learning something new, to help retain and retrieve memories better. Sleep deprivation and acquisition of too much information will not help you save those memories.
  • Get moving, to improve the flow of oxygen-rich blood in your brain and to trigger neuron growth and new connections in the brain - critical for memory.
  • Improve your diet. Fats from food can build up the brain, resulting to poor blood flow.

Mnemonics

Any system or device designed to aid memory:

  • patterns of letters or words (common mnemonics)
  • ideas (memory palace)
  • associations (chunking)

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Early memories are not reliable

Early memories are not reliable

Scientists believe that it is impossible to recall the first few years of life. Many of the necessary brain structures for memory have not yet matured at the time. It means that it is physiological...

Your memory depends on context

If we learn facts while we are doing something, we will be able to recall them better, when we are doing that same thing again.

You can use this information to your advantage: for instance, try chewing a particular gum while studying.

Your mental timeline is skewed

Research has shown that we often underestimate the amount of time that has passed from long ago, and overestimate the amount of time that has passed since more recent events.

How Memories are Formed

  1. Create a memory. Our brain sends signals in a particular pattern associated with the event we're experiencing and creates connections between our neurons, called s...

Effective Ways to Improve Your Memory

  • Meditate to improve working memory. Take a pause to empty your mind and to reduce stress.
  • Although still debatable, drink coffee to help improve memory consolidation.
  • Eat berries for better long-term memory. Berries contain flavanoids,  which appear to strengthen connections in the brain.
  • Exercise not only to improve memory recall, but also to enhance cognitive abilities.
  • Chew gum to make stronger memories. It is proven that it increases activity in the hippocampus. It also increases heart rate which causes more blood to flow in the brain.
  • Sleep more to consolidate and easily remember memories.