Improving Your Memory

By Madi Schwem

Why This Topic Was Chosen

This topic was chosen because having tips for someone to improve their memory can be very beneficial to their life, especially in the long-run. Most people need to be able to recall certain information to be able to do well in work or ace their tests. These tips are made for those people who have a more difficult time storing information and need useful ways for them to be able to do that.

Improving Your Memory

Whether or not you're a college student preparing for a final exam or someone just trying to recall a simple bit of information, a lot of people struggle with recalling short-term information. Have no fear--there are plenty of ways that you can improve your mental performance. Here are some tips:

  • You can't competently retain information if you're tired. Sleep on something and come back to it if you want to remember it. There's no such thing as critical-thinking when you're obsessing over how many hours you have left to sleep.
  • Exercise. Exercising increases the oxygen that flows to your brain and reduces risks that lead to mental disorders or brain disabilities.
  • Studies have shown that having healthy relationships with people also increases your brain's capacity to retain information.
  • Keep your stress in check. Chronic stress can destroy brain cells and damage the hippocampus.
  • Create mnemonic devices in order to keep memorization both fun and easy. These include acronyms, rhymes and alliteration, or chunking.

The Brain and Memory

  • The brain processes short-term memory through the pre-frontal robe.
  • Long-term memory is processed through the hippocampus.
  • We are forget things because we are motivated to, our brain has failed to store it because it never properly registered it, interference, or retrieval failure.
  • Our brains sometimes fail to remember things because we aren't getting enough sleep or aren't eating properly enough for our brain to build new building blocks for its neurotransmitters.

Research and Experiments Done

  • Glanzer and Cunitz were two psychologists who studied the effects of how we retain short-term memory and long-term memory.
  • They showed that when you are presented with a list of words, people are more likely to forget the words in the middle of the list and remember the first and last words.
  • Sleep-deprivation was also used as an experiment to see how it affects memory. Sleep-deprived patients performed far worse on cognitive tasks, while those who received more sleep were able to perform better as far as memory goes.

Helpful Mnemonic Devices

  • Music is very useful for helping people recall information! You can make a song out of any list of items. Typically, if it matches a tune of a song you really like, you'll remember it better.
  • Acronyms are awesome. For example: ROY G BIV is used to help people remember the colors of the rainbow in science class/light physics. ROY G BIV = Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.
  • Visual representation = if someone is showed an ordered model of something with picture examples, they are able to remember it a bit more easily, especially if their style of learning is visual learning.

To learn more about how the brain works with memory: