How to improve short and long term memory
Short-term memory or working memory lasts from a few seconds to a minute; the exact amount of time may vary somewhat. When you are trying to recall a telephone number that was heard a few seconds earlier, the name of a person who has just been introduced, or the substance of the remarks just made by a teacher in class, you are calling on short-term memory, or working memory. Long-term memory lasts from a minute or so to weeks or even years. From long-term memory you can recall general information about the world that you learned on previous occasions, memory for specific past experiences, specific rules previously learned, and the like.
What are some ways I can improve my memory?
Our brains evolved to code and interpret complex stimuli into sophisticated models of the world we live in, so it makes sense to feed our minds as diverse a set of data as possible. Memory makes use of various "triggers," known as mnemonics. These include:
To make your mnemonics most valuable:
•Use positive, pleasant images. The 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! Make up jokes using facts and figures you need to recall. Funny or peculiar things are easier to remember than pedestrian ones.
•Make up rhymes such as the one we all learned in elementary school, "30 days hath September…"
•Symbols (red traffic lights, pointing fingers, road signs, etc.) can code complex messages quickly and effectively.
Once you've mastered mnemonics, the following guidelines can help improve your memory at any age:
•Attention and Intention. Pay attention to what you're learning, and decide to remember it. We learn and retain information best when we have a strong motivation for committing the material to memory.
•Relate to what you know. How does the new information relate to concepts with which you're familiar? Decide whether to emphasize memory devices, visualization, or reciting. Storage seems to increase if we pronounce the names of the items out loud—especially if they are grouped rhythmically. Grouping items into threes or fours also seems to aid recall.
•Become the teacher. Grasp the basic idea and explain it to someone else in your own words
•Make notes, and remember that 7 items is the maximum your short-term memory can hold at one time. Categories with 7 or fewer items will work best.
•Your brain thinks in both words and pictures, so give it both: diagrams and charts, as well as pictures of what you need to know.
•Talk to yourself. Reciting as you read and reviewing notes out loud increases attention and motivation, and creates a stronger neural trace of memory by utilizing more senses.
•ASAP review. If you go over what you've learned for just five minutes immediately after you've learned it, your retention will be far higher than if you skip this valuable step.
•If you do regular exercise it tends to clear the cobwebs out of your head and helps you to think more clearly, this is especially important if you are about to sit a exam. I have found just 20 minutes of exercise before the exam helps me to think clearer and recall information more effectively.
Research in how to improve short term memory
For he first time, researchers have been able to watch distinct areas of the brain -- the ones that relate to short-term memory -- fire up after volunteers ingested the equivalent of two cups of coffee. "Everyone knows coffee makes us more alert, more vigilant, but our study documented how it works in the brain. We were able to show that caffeine modulates a higher brain function through its effects on distinct areas of the brain," said Dr. Florian Koppelstatter, a radiology fellow at the Medical University of Innsbruck in Austria.
How to improve short term memory in children
Short term memory sharpening skills children
Many children have problems with memory. To determine the amount of memory problems your child has, play memory games with them and compare them to their peers. Psychologists often look at memory by the scores on digit span sub-test of an intelligence test. If you feel your child can improve in memory, the following game can be a fun way to develop auditory memory. The purpose of this exercise is to increase your child's ability to remember instructions that are given to him/her. Some children cannot remember two, three or four instructions simultaneously. Often they will forget even single commands. Play this game often to strengthen your child's short term memory and help them become less distracted when following commands. Start the game by telling your child about the game. The game's object is to see how many commands the child can successfully complete. Most children can get up to four, so four commands is a good starting point. For example, you may suggest: "First bring me a tissue, second, put the dish rag in the dirty laundry, third, turn on the light, and fourth, put the magazine in the magazine rack. If the child is able to do all four, give him/her lots of verbal praise. Really make a big deal at being able to complete four commands. Next, ask the child if he/she is ready to do five commands. Make up five more simple commands. If he/she completes all five, give a lot of verbal praise. Keep playing the game until the child forgets one of the commands. It is not important that the child complete the simple commands in the order that they were given. When the child forgets one of the commands, the game simply ends for that day. Congratulate the child in getting the amount of commands he/she was able to do. This is the child's current record. Next time the goal will be to beat the child's record. If more than one child plays the game, parents must stress for each child to beat their own record and not worry about how the other siblings are doing. A valuable principle can be taught when you stress competing against yourself rather than comparing yourself with others. If your goal is to improve your child's short term memory, this game should be played at least daily, six times a week. Once 12 simple commands are remembered on a consistent basis, the child is ready to learn complex commands. Complex commands are activities that require several steps (e.g., wash the dishes, carry out the trash). A good goal for a child is to be able to remember four complex commands. Do not be authoritative about playing the game. Keep the game fun.
Tips to improve short term memory
Other tips on how to improve short term memory loss are supplementation; there are a few supplements that certainly can help improve short term memory:
•Co Enzyme Q10
•Natural HGH Complex
•Super Greens Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, beans, peas
•Super Reds such as red cabbage, capsicum
There are lots of ways to improve your short term memory loss and I feel you need to use a combination of techniques:
•Use either the memory game or “triggers” using our senses to trigger a memory
•High Grade Nutritional Supplementation
The most important thing to remember is that “practice makes permanent”
Empowering You to Optimal Health Julie Doherty N.D
Julie Doherty is a Fully Accredited Naturopathic & Massage Practitioner with the Australian Traditional Medicine Society Ltd.
Having completed Professional Qualifications in Naturopathic Medicine: Herbal Medicine: Homoeopathic, Nutritional Medicine: Holistic Massage Therapy: Body Work: & Natural Beauty Therapy. This has enabled Julie to follow her dream of supporting people to overcome their health issues & heal their body with the use of a combination of Naturopathic, Herbal, and Homoeopathic & Nutritional Medicines & Therapies to become well without causing further harm or complications
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