In this article we will discuss about the methods used for improving memory.
1. Mnemonic Devices:
Some Mnemonic devices are easily memorizd rhymes whereas others use visual images or verbal associations.
2. Mental Stroll Method (“Method of Loci”):
A favourite method is to remember a list of items by taking a mental stroll through one’s house, forming a visual image of each item at a particular location (the method of loci).
3. Pay Attention:
Attention is important for encoding. Impairment in attention e.g., in depression may result in impaired encoding causing pseudodementia.
4. Encode Information in More than One Way:
The more elaborate the encoding of information, the more memorable it is. Elaboration can be in many forms e.g., remembering a telephone number by sound of the individual digits.
5. Add Meaning:
The more meaningful material is, the more likely it is to link up with information already in long term memory. Meaningfulness also reduces the number of chunks of information one has to learn.
6. Use Visual Memory:
Memory for pictures is often better than the memory for words.
7. Take Your Time:
If one has to remember large amounts of verbal material, leisurely learning, spread out over several sessions will produce better results than rapid cramming.
8. Take Time Out:
If possible, minimize interference by using study breaks for rest or recreation. Sleep is the ultimate way to reduce interference.
Overlearning – Studying information even after you think you know it – is one of the best ways to remember it.
10. Planning to Learn:
Plan a study schedule, regular rehearsal, subjective organization and retrieval cues, testing oneself (feedback) and review help in memorizing (i.e., “PRC- Planning, Rehearsal, Organization and “FRO” – Feedback, Review and Over- learning).
11. Avoiding Use of Drugs:
Alcohol, benzodiazepines, antihistaminics and other CNS depressants may impair the memorizing process. Nootropics (Brain tonics) are not useful in normal persons.