Friday, April 9, 2010

Memory Improvement technics

It's a general 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?.
Everyone either he is student or a layman want to improve his memory.We always in the search of some technics or any method that can be beneficial in improving our memory.Before you study for your next exam, you might want to use a few strategies to boost your memory of important information. There are a number of tried and tested techniques for improving memory. There are some technics or tips can be useful to improve your memory.

1. Focus or concentrate your attention on the materials you are studying.
Attention is one of the major part of memory. In order to improve short memory to long term memory you need to actively read this information. Try to study in a place free of disturbance such as television, music, and other diversions.
2. Avoid cramming study regularly
Many research has shown that students who study regularly remember the material far better that those did all of their studying in one marathon session.

3. Structure and organize the information you are studying.
Always structure and organize the information you are going to remember for a long term. Try grouping similar concepts and terms together, or make an outline of your notes and textbook readings to help group related concepts.

4. Utilize mnemonic devices to remember information.
Mnemonics are techniques for remembering information that is otherwise quite difficult to recall:Mnemonic devices are a technique often used by students to aid in recall. A mnemonic is simply a way to remember information. For example, you might associate a term you need to remember with a common item that you are very familiar with. The best mnemonics are those that utilize positive imagery, humor, or novelty. You might come up with a rhyme, song, or joke to help remember a specific segment of information. 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. The 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.

5. Elaborate and rehearse the information you are studying.
In order to recall information, you need to encode what you are studying into long-term memory. One of the most effective encoding techniques is known as elaborative rehearsal. An example of this technique would be to read the definition of a key term, study the definition of that term, and then read a more detailed description of what that term means. After repeating this process a few times, your recall of the information will be far better.

6. Relate new information to things you already know.
When you are studying unfamiliar material, take the time to think about how this information relates to things that you already know. By establishing relationships between new ideas and previously existing memories, you can dramatically increase the likelihood of recalling the recently learned information.

7. Visualize concepts to improve memory and recall.
Many people benefit greatly from visualizing the information they study. Pay attention to the photographs, charts, and other graphics in your textbooks. If you don’t have visual cues to help, try creating your own. Draw charts or figures in the margins of your notes or use highlighters or pens in different colors to group related ideas in your written study materials.

8. Teach new concepts to another person.
Research suggests that reading materials out loud significantly improves memory of the material. Educators and psychologists have also discovered that having students actually teach new concepts to others enhances understanding and recall. You can use this approach in your own study by teaching new concepts and information to a friend or study partner.

9. Pay extra attention to difficult information.
Have you ever noticed how it's sometimes easier to remember information at the beginning or end of a chapter? Researchers have found that the position of information can play a role in recall, which is known as the serial position effect. While recalling middle information can be difficult, you can overcome this problem by spending extra time rehearsing this information or try restructuring the information so it will be easier to remember. When you come across an especially difficult concept, devote some extra time to memorizing the information.

10. Vary your study routine.
Another great way to increase your memory is to occasionally change your study routine. If you are accustomed to studying in one specific location, try moving to a different spot to study. If you study in the evening, try to spend a few minutes each morning reviewing the information you studied the previous night. By adding an element of novelty to your study sessions, you can increase the effectiveness of your efforts and significantly improve your long-term recall.
Healthy habits to improve memory
Treating your body well can enhance your ability to process and recall information.
Healthy Habits that Improve Memory
Regular exercise • Increases oxygen to your brain.
• Reduces the risk for disorders that lead to memory loss, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
• May enhance the effects of helpful brain chemicals and protect brain cells.
Managing stress • Cortisol, the stress hormone, can damage the hippocampus if the stress is unrelieved.
• Stress makes it difficult to concentrate.
Good sleep habits • Sleep is necessary for memory consolidation.
• Sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea leave you tired and unable to concentrate during the day.
Not smoking • Smoking heightens the risk of vascular disorders that can cause stroke and constrict arteries that deliver oxygen to the brain.

. Nutrition and Memory improvement
You probably know already that a diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and “healthy” fats will provide lots of health benefits, but such a diet can also improve memory. Research indicates that certain nutrients nurture and stimulate brain function.
• B vitamins, especially B6, B12, and folic acid, protects neurons by breaking down homocysteine, an amino acid that is toxic to nerve cells. They’re also involved in making red blood cells, which carry oxygen. (Best sources: spinach and other dark leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, strawberries, melons, black beans and other legumes, citrus fruits, soybeans.)
• Antioxidants like vitamins C and E, and beta carotene, fight free radicals, which are atoms formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Free radicals are highly reactive and can damage cells, but antioxidants can interact with them safely and neutralize them. Antioxidants also improve the flow of oxygen through the body and brain. (Best sources: blueberries and other berries, sweet potatoes, red tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, green tea, nuts and seeds, citrus fruits, liver.)
Omega-3 fatty acids are concentrated in the brain and are associated with cognitive function. They count as “healthy” fats, as opposed to saturated fats and trans fats, protecting against inflammation and high cholesterol. (Best sources: cold-water fish such as salmon, herring, tuna, halibut, and mackerel; walnuts and walnut oil; flaxseed and flaxseed oil)
Because older adults are more prone to B12 and folic acid deficiencies, a supplement may be a good idea for seniors. An omega-3 supplement (at any age) if you don’t like eating fish. But nutrients work best when they’re consumed in foods, so try your best to eat a broad spectrum of colorful plant foods and choose fats that will help clear,

Here are 10 Research-proven tips for a better memory, recommended by Harvard Medical School.

1. Believe in yourself : People who are exposed to positive messages about preserving memory into old age do better on memory tasks.
2. Economize your brain use : Take advantage of calendars, planners, maps and file folders. Designate a place at home for your glasses, keys and other items of frequent use.

3. Organise your thoughts : Information broken into smaller chunks such as city code and area code of a phone number is easier to remember than a single long list.

4. Use all your senses : The more senses you use while learning something, the more of your brain will be involved in retaining the learning.

5. Expand your brain : Widen the brain region involved in learning by reading aloud, drawing a picture or writing down the information you want to learn.

6. Repeat it aloud : Repeat it aloud, something which you just heard or thought about.

7. Space it out : Spacing out your learning instead of cramming in a short period is very valuable especially while learning complicated information.

8. Make a mnemonic : Mnemonics such as acrostics is a creative way to remember information. Another helpful mnemonics is to create story linking the items you want to remember.

9. Challenge yourself : Engaging in activities that require you to concentrate and tax your memory will help you maintain skills as you age. Do crossword puzzles, try new recipes, travel and undertake projects or hobbies that require skills you aren't familiar or comfortable with.

10. Take a course : Memory improvement courses are becoming more common. Select a course that focuses on practical ways to manage everyday challenges. Stay away from courses that center on computer or concentration games. Choose one, run by health professionals or experts in psychology or cognitive rehabilitation.

Courtesy Harvard Medical School
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