memory improvement techniques

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Memory Improvement TechniquesAvoid frustrating memory loss. Retain and recall more information.It's a classic situation - you meet someone new, and then moments later you've forgotten their name! Names, passwords, pin and telephone numbers... the list is endless - with so much to memorize is it really possible to improve how much you can remember? The good news is "yes"! Just like every muscle in your body, the adage "use it or lose it" applies, so the more you exercise your brain, the more you wil l remember.

MnemonicsMnemonic is another word for memory tool. Mnemonics are techniques for remembering information that is otherwise quite difficult to recall: A very simple example is the 30 days hath September rhyme for remembering the number of da ys in each calendar month. The idea behind using mnemonics is to encode difficult -to-remember information in a way that is much easier to remember. Our brains evolved to code and interpret complex stimuli such as images, colors, structures, sounds, smells, tastes, touch, positions, emotions and language. We use these to make sophisticated models of the world we live in. Our memories store all of these very effectively. Unfortunately, a lot of the information we have to remember in modern life is presented differently as words printed on a page. While writing is a rich and sophisticated medium for conveying complex arguments, our brains do not easily encode written information, making it difficult to remember.

Using Your Whole Mind to RememberThe key idea is that by coding information using vivid mental images, you can reliably code both information and the structure of information. And because the images are vivid, they are easy to recall when you need them. The techniques explained later on in this sectio n show you how to code information vividly, using stories, strong mental images, familiar journeys, and so on. You can do the following things to make your mnemonics more memorable:y y y

Use positive, pleasant images. Your brain often blocks out unpleasant ones . Use vivid, colorful, sense -laden images these are easier to remember than drab ones. Use all your senses to code information or dress up an image. Remember that your mnemonic can contain sounds, smells, tastes, touch, movements and feelings as well as pictures.


Give your image three dimensions, movement and space to make it more vivid. You can use movement either to maintain the flow of association, or to help you to remember actions. Exaggerate the size of important parts of the image. Use humor! Funny or peculiar things are easier to remember than normal ones. Similarly, rude rhymes are very difficult to forget! Symbols (red traffic lights, pointing fingers, road signs, etc.) can code quite complex messages quickly and effectively.

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Designing Mnemonics: Imagination, Association and LocationThe three fundamental principles underlying the use of mnemonics are imagination, association and location. Working together, you can use these principles to generate powerful mnemonic systems. Imagination: is what you use to create and strengthen the associations needed to create effective mnemonics. Your imagination is what you use to create mnemonics that are potent for you. The more strongly you imagine and visualize a situation, the more effec tively it will stick in your mind for later recall. The imagery you use in your mnemonics can be as violent, vivid, or sensual as you like, as long as it helps you to remember. Association: this is the method by which you link a thing to be remembered to a way of remembering it. You can create associations by:y y y y y y

Placing things on top of each other. Crashing things together. Merging images together. Wrapping them around each other. Rotating them around each other or having them dancing together. Linking them using the same color, smell, shape, or feeling.

As an example, you might link the number 1 with a goldfish by visualizing a 1 -shaped spear being used to spear it. Location: gives you two things: a coherent context into which you can place information so that it hangs together, and a way of separating one mnemonic from another. By setting one mnemonic in a particular town, I can separate it from a similar mnemonic set in a city. For example, by setting one in Wimbledon and another similar mnemonic with images of Manhattan, we can separate them with no danger of confusion. You can build the flavors and atmosphere of these places into your mnemonics to strengthen the feeling of location. For a detailed explanation of how to use imagination, association and location mnemonics, try these articles:y y y y y

The Link Method and Story Method Remembering a Simple List The Number/Rhyme Mnemonic Remembering Ordered Lists The Number/Shape Mnemonic Remembering Ordered Lists The Alphabet Technique Remembering Middle Length Lists The Journey System Remembering Long Lists

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The Roman Room System Remembering Grouped Information The Major System Remembering Very Long Numbers Using Concept Maps to Remember Struc tured Information How to... Remember People's Names Memory Games Have Fun While You Improve Your Memory

5 methodsNow let us discuss five simple techniques to improve memory: Four of these techniques are used to improve assimilation and thus to have longer retention. The last one is a simple strategy for recollection.Chunking

Perhaps Chunking is the oldest method used in memorization. In this method, the items to be memorized are divided into small and easily memorizable chunks or groups. This method works best when the order of the items is not important. This method is found to be particularly well suited for memorizing multi -digit numbers (eg., ID nos., telephone nos., etc.) and for committing complicated spellings to memory. Example:1. The number 472627607 may be memorized easily if it is grouped as 472, 627,607 or as 47, 26, 27,607. These chunks may then be learned by rote. Learning and retention are much facilitated if you further explore the nos. by finding some relationship among these different chunks. Finding the digital root will also be helpful. The more explorations or relations you do, the better. 2. Words like mathematics may be divided into mat +he +mat +ics, Together may be divided into to + get + her; Important may be divided into im + port + ant. This technique will make us learn much faster. 3. The list Apple, cucumber, paper, ink, cabbage, banana, grapes, beans, stapler, orange can be better learned by rearranging and applying chunking as : Apple, banana, grapes, orange, cucumber, cabbage, beans, paper, ink, stapler -- 4 fruits, 3 vegitables and 3 stationary items.

If possible, organize the material as meaningfully as you can and think out relationships among each group. This not only improves learnability and retention but also aids in faster and effortless recollection. Psychologists doing research on Human Memory have found that the capacity of Short Term Memory (STM) for humans is 7 s 2 that is from the range 5 to 9 items. So you should take care to keep the chunks you create within this limit.Rhyming

This is also one of the popular and oldest methods in memorization. This technique makes use of the fact that we have a natural tendency to remember rhymes and rhythms. The following is a very popular example of application of this technique which almost all school students are familiar with. "Thirty days haveth September April, June and November All the rest have thirty-one February has twenty-eight alone Except in leap year, then the time When Febs days are twenty-nine." If possible create rhymes like this and it will not only aid in improving your memory but in improving your creativity as well.Mediation/Bridging

In this method, a bridge is built in between the items given to be memorized. This technique is best suited for learning materia l involving word pairs or material that can be reduced to word pairs. An example often cited by memory experts is the learning of the capital of Poland. The capital of Poland is Warsaw. World War II started with Germany's attack on Poland. Thus it may be a rranged as Poland SAW War first. Here, the word pair to be connected together is Poland and Warsaw. The additional information of the World War II is used as a bridge or mediator in bringing these two words together. Again, like other techniques, the me diation technique calls for the learner's active participation in the learning process. This is because one is to bring in the mediator or the bridge from relevant items one has learned.

Bed-time Recital

In this technique, you do your recital or rote lea rning just before going to bed. The mind in the process of sleeping would then arrange the information in a systematic and effective way when you are sleeping. Psychologists have also found that if you sleep after thinking about your problems there is a be tter chance that you arrive at a solution the next day. Steps for Memory Improvement1. 2. 3. 4.Be in a relaxed mood Write down the things that you are supposed to remember in a piece of paper. Read it aloud (if possible) once or twice and recite it two to three ti mes. Now go to sleep without worrying or thinking about anything.

You will surely retain the item longer and find it more easy to recall it when in need.

Trying by Not Trying

All of us apply this method knowingly or unknowingly. Sometimes when you try to recall you may not be able to recall it at that time even if you are sure that you know it very well. You experience a blocking that prevents you from recalling it. Normally you tend to try again and again but in vain. To handle this situation you just keep away from trying to recollect it and do something else; to your pleasant surprise that information automatically pops up into your mind after