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gamefu91's avatar

How to improve memory retention and recalling?

Asked by gamefu91 (588 points ) December 30th, 2010

I want to improve my memory.I think i forget things that I am supposed to remember.Good memory is so effortless or involuntary activity,it happens by itself on its own.But it gets irritating when we forget simple things.We learn by making patterns,linking new information to something that is already there inside our brain.But I guess I forgot how to do it?
When,say for example,I understand some new concept,I know I have understood it.But when it comes to recalling that it seems to fade away.
How could I improve my memory? Any techniques?
How can I memorize things to remember them for long time?
How to improve recalling? No use of something inside our head that we cannot recall,and at appropriate times.
What techniques do you use to memorize things? It may seem that you don’t use any,but actually everyone does.Think again and let me know how you do it?
Do you listen to some some background music? I have heard it helps but I don’t feel so,does it help you and how it helps you? if it works for you.
Mnemonics could not be that good because I don’t think there are much things that it can be applied to.

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6 Answers

marinelife's avatar

This article gives a lot of tips for improving memory.

mattbrowne's avatar

Invent mnemonic hooks using graphic images in a funny short story. Suppose you meet someone named Rodan Zappa. Picture him as someone sitting on a couch with a remote control in his hand. He’s channel zapping until he stops, eyes wide open. There’s a rodent on television gnawing at something that looks like a remote control.

I’m not kidding. Crazy little stories like this will give your brain and its associative cortex no choice but to remember it. All you need is a short moment of focus. Pay attention to your own little story. You won’t ever forget it.

Axemusica's avatar

I agree with @mattbrowne. Read books on Mnemonics

phaedryx's avatar

Sleep and exercise are important and often neglected when it comes to memory.

iphigeneia's avatar

My favourite method for remembering facts is the “method of loci”. It’s mentioned near the bottom of @marinelife‘s article.

Basically, you visualise a route that you know well, and then include your information in that route. For example, when I needed to remember that George Miller did a study in 1956, where he found that short-term memory has a capacity of 5–9 items, I visualised opening my back door, and at the bottom of the stairs was a windmill with 5–9 sails, and written on the windmill was 1956.

The method of loci is usually associated with remembering speeches, since it involves learning things in a specific order. It allows people to remember things like the order of all the cards in a shuffled deck.

When I am studying, I just use it to remember facts within the same topic, so that when I have to write an essay I can take this mental ‘journey’ and make sure I have included everything I can. I also found it more successful than visualising facts by themselves because, by linking this information to something I am very familiar with, it is easier to access.

MilkyWay's avatar

watch it over and over again, or read it over and over again. and most definately read it out to yourself a couple of times.

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