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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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MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

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.

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.

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.

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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RELATED IDEAS

We remember better after rest

When memories are initially encoded, they pass through a period of consolidation that cements them in long-term storage.

It was once thought to happen mostly during sleep; studies have found that it is not limited to sleep, because it happens during periods of wakeful rest, too.

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IDEAS

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 physiologically impossible for your brain to remember personal events from infancy.

Any recollections are patched together from other knowledge we acquired later on.

... refers to the grouping of information into smaller sets, to easily remember them based on the patterns or organization each segments form.