MEMORY TECHNIQUES Ways to Improve Your Memory Capabilities

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  • MEMORY TECHNIQUESWays to Improve Your Memory Capabilities

  • There are 2 distinct types of memory each uses different parts of the brain:Procedural Memory: skills and habits that have been practiced to the point where they are automatic and unconscious eg. Typing, tying shoes, riding a bikeDeclarative Memory: Our general knowledge and our life experiences that we can declare or recall consciously

  • How to remember for each type of memory??Procedural rote rehearsal works best much repetition is neededDeclarative elaborative rehearsal (linking new info to something we already know) for example:Using metaphors and analogiesUsing personal life examples eg. think of some declarative and procedural memories of your own

  • Consolidation is essential for transfer of learningConsolidation moving a memory over time from working (short-term) memory to long term memoryNew info is not fixed the moment it is processed takes time to gel or consolidateLearning occurs best when new info is incorporated GRADUALLY into memory over spaced intervals rather than cramming it all in at one sitting

  • Effective Rehearsal:The more the info is linked to previous learning, the stronger the memoryThe more modalities used to rehearse, the more paths you have for retrieval of the memory so. write about it, talk about it, act it out

  • Learn from the general to the specificSkim the material before you read to get an overview of what you will be learningMany students dive right in and tackle details, trying to memorize those before seeing the big pictureThink of viewing a huge muralstyle of painting

  • Make it meaningfulThink of packing a parachute would you pay attention? If it means something to you, youre more likely to be involved in the learning. How?Find an experience youve already had and hook the information to it (hook info to an existing network of neurons)Or, create a new experience with the new information

  • Create associations between what youre learning and what you already knowRecalling new (or old) information is easier if its stored in your brain near something you already know (my personal muscle memory story)For example, if you meet someone named Greg, think of someone you already know with the same name, to help the name stick

  • If you cant remember it, remember something elseWhen you are stuck and cant remember something you know you know, remember something else that is related to it.Aunt uncle, facts examples

  • Learn activelyPeople remember:90% of what they do75% of what they see20% of what they hearStand upSit on the edge of your seatWalk around and recite what youre learning

  • RelaxHave you ever forgotten all you knew when tense?Relaxation helps recall and learningWhen we are scared or too anxious, we forget

  • Create PixDraw diagrams, cartoons, flowchartsVisual information is associated with a different part of the brain than verbal information. There is a better chance of recall when information is stored in two parts of the brain rather than just one.

  • Graphic organizers can be used to arrange the information in a useful and meaningful way. Creating these while you study is very helpful in internalizing the content. Following are some examples:

  • Hierarchy

  • Double cell diagramFor comparing and contrasting

  • Concept map

  • Comparison Matrix

  • Recite and Repeatout loud.2 different senses will anchor the conceptPhysical sensation of speaking (throat, lips, tongue)Auditory component as wellBest if in your OWN WORDS this forces you to think about it

  • Write it down(even if you never look at it)Writing engages a different kind of memory than speaking. It prompts us to be more logical, coherent, & complete. Written reviews reveal gaps that mental reviews missCan be a good way to prepare for tests (which are usually written, not oral)

  • Reduce interference.Turn off the stereo and tv when you study. If its noisy at home, go to the library to study.2 hours with TV = 10 minutes without

  • OVERLEARNDont stop when you think you know it well enough to pass the test.Especially with problem solving, this has been shown to workDo assignment, then look for more similar questionsMake up your own questions and answer them

  • Study during daylight hours (more effective)If you think the subject is boring, remember that everything is related to everything else. Look for connectionsDistribute learning you can benefit much more from three 2-hour study sessions than in one 6-hour session

  • Use it or lose itTo remember something, access it often. Each time you use that pathway, it becomes stronger and will be easier to recall that content later on.Teach it to someone else