Every person wants to improve his/her memory with a help of different training tasks. In this article, we gathered tips, which have a scientific basis.
How to Improve the Memory: 5 Tips from Scientists
We use our memory inefficiently: at the most inopportune moment, the date of the birthday of the best friend can fly out of your head or you may forget the line of the poem you had to learn by heart in front of the class. Meanwhile, our brain is able to store even more information than we have always expected. read here advises simple ways to improve memory, which have a scientific basis.
Our Memory Has Potential
Recently, scientists have discovered that human memory can potentially store 10 times more information than it was believed until now. According to the fresh estimates, our memory can accommodate up to 1024 terabytes of information or 1 petabyte. And this is only 50 times less than the amount of all the written information created by the mankind in all the languages of the world since the time of inventing the writing.
Having such a huge memory potential, it is amazing how modestly we use our “natural resource.” Meanwhile, memory can be developed as a muscle. Scientists in their experiments have shown how it is possible to improve the “storing” of information in a short-term and a long-term memory with the help of easy practices.
Tip 1: Beware of Multitasking!
The full concentration on the task that we are performing at the moment will help to improve the memorization of the details of the case. Although we are used to doing several things at the same time, the brain needs time and concentration to correctly encrypt the information received. The scientists confirmed the harm of multitasking in the learning process: 40 participants of the experiment were invited to a lecture and asked to write the material on computers. Some of them were given extraneous tasks to perform during the lecture. The test results showed that those, who were not distracted by extraneous tasks, learned the material better.
Tip 2: Strength Exercises and Aerobics Will Enhance Memory
Memory and mental performance deteriorate with age, but there is a consolation: scientists found out that memory can be pumped up like a muscle with the help of physical exertion. Moreover, the kind of exercises makes a difference. Even a 45-minute one-time exercise improves cognitive function.
The use of systematic exercises even at the old age is confirmed by experiment. 86 women aged from 70 to 80 years passed a six-month training course. The participants of the experiment were randomly assigned to one of the types of training: strength, aerobic (long walks in the fresh air) and exercises to maintain general state (stretching, balance, relaxation). Classes were held for an hour twice a week.
Before and after the course of the exercises, all participants completed tests for verbal (remembering words) and spatial memory (location of things in space), which especially become worse with age. The results showed that memory remained at the same level or worsened in those cases, when women did exercises to maintain the state. Those participants, who had the body strength or aerobic load, improved their spatial memory, and walking tours contributed to the improvement of the verbal memory.
Despite the “victory” of aerobic loads, professor at the University of British Columbia, Teresa Liu-Ambrose advises combining aerobic (or cardio) with strength exercises for complex brain health because different types of exercises have effects on various aspects of cognitive functions. According to her, the choice of a particular type of load is not so important, since the difference in the effect of strength and aerobic loads was small. However, those, who perform any physical exertion, have a huge advantage.
Tip 3: Memorize in a Dream
During the sleep, all the information, received during the day, is arranged in the brain, and special preference is given to the information that is necessary for a person to survive, for example, food, money, dangers. First, the information we get is “written” in the hippocampus, so it is easy to lose it. During sleep, information “moves forward” further into the new cerebral cortex, where it is then stored. Therefore, a nap after receiving new information contributes to its memorization.
Not only a deep sleep but also a short daytime sleep has a beneficial effect on the memory. It was confirmed by the scientific experiment. Scientists have invited 31 participants to memorize a series of images. Then, some of them had to sleep for 40 minutes, while the rest were awake. On the day of the experiment, and even three months later, the participants, who slept in the allotted time, were able to recall the images shown to them more accurately.
Tip 4: Coffee Helps to Process the Information
Reception of coffee will help to remember the information received the day before. Scientists conducted an experiment, in which, after viewing the images, 42 participants were given 200 mg of caffeine (corresponding to an average daily intake of coffee among adults) or a placebo. The next day all the participants performed a test to recognize the original images among the new ones or just similar to the originals. Those, who took caffeine after memorization, not only recognized the original images among all others but also could better distinguish the originals from the images similar to them, which is much more difficult.
Tip 5: Remember in Time
Regardless of whether you are an “early bird” or a “night owl,” scientists advise you to use an early evening for memorizing, especially from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm, then everything you learn will be left in a long-term memory. As a result of the experiment, scientists showed that, regardless of the participants’ chronotype and the coincidence of the phase of activity favorable for the chronotype, a bigger part of 68 participants, who remembered the information from 16:30 to 18:30, restored more information than those, who remembered it from 7:30 to 9:30.
So, it is obvious that we need to train our memory to feel comfortable and not to fall into a trap of forgetting important data the day before your college test. Hope these easy tips will help you improve your memory.