Building Memory Muscles

use strategies to help your brain remember better

What is your earliest memory?

For most people, their earliest memory is a fragment of something that happened when they were 3 or 4 years old. You cannot access most of your childhood memories by the time you grow up. But your memories did become easier to retrieve after you were old enough to describe them in words. It may be that your early memories were laid down in a form that your mind either cannot understand or cannot find.

How good is your memory?

You store most things in your brain for only a short time - for example, you can remember a phone number long enough to make the call, but then usually forget it.

This is your short-term memory in action: your working memory. But information can pass into your long-term memory, where it stays for days, weeks, or even your whole life.

Long-Term Memories

You have different sorts of long-term memories

  • events
  • how to do things and facts
  • things that have happened to you

Your memory of how to do things like riding a bike will allow you to do something automatically once you have learnt how.

Facts, such as names, events, and places have to be consciously retrieved.

Working Memory

Your working memory is the 'blackboard of your mind'. You use it when adding up a bill or thinking up a sentence.

To do any of these things, you need to instantly retrieve and use many different bits of information.

Many researchers think that working memory is the key to human intelligence - enabling us to solve problems and plan ahead.

Can You Improve Your Memory?

Practice can improve your memory for facts dramatically. Simple ways include associating a picture with a word, making up a story, or rhymes.

Practice Makes Perfect!

Follow these links to play some brain games and get your memory muscles working.