Memory Enhancement Techniques

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by jonnyy40, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. Can anyone recommend techniques that allow one more easily to remember large volumes of text (and even better if it's possible) pick an excerpt and have related passages enter ones recall?
    What's the best time frame to spend reading a text before having a break to optimise retention and when you resume,should you re-read the last read paragraph to promote continuity?
  2. stu



    I have a sure fired method which will enable you to read and recover in detail ANY amount of text and recall it at will.

    Unfortunately I can't remember what it is.

    Memory - What is it?

    Memory is one of those words that everyone knows at an intuitive definition level but that is actually very complex and difficult to universally capture the details of. Basically MEMORY is a group of processes for putting things into the brain so they can be retrieved later. It is the group of processes for acquiring, encoding, storing and retrieving information from our brain. Whenever people successfully recall a prior experience they must have encoded, stored and retrieved information about the experience. Memory failure – for example forgetting an important fact – reflects a breakdown in one of these stages of MEMORY.

    While our discussion of MEMORY focuses on the pragmatic use of memory rather than the academic concepts of memory some common vocabulary for describing these processes must be developed so that we may discuss this intuitive but complex thing called ‘MEMORY’. The word MEMORY is an abstraction that refers to those groups of processes that allow us to recall things.

    Memory is important

    MEMORY is critical to humans and all other living organisms. Practically all of our daily activities – talking, understanding, reading, socializing – depend on our having learned and stored information about our environments. MEMORY enables us to learn new skills and to form new habits. Without the ability to access past experiences or information, we would be unable to comprehend language, recognize our friends and family members, find our way home or even tie a shoe. Life would be a series of disconnected experiences, each one new and unfamiliar.

    Without MEMORY there would probably be no human life at all. Many learned men have studied the phenomena of MEMORY for all recorded time. They have studied the philosophy of MEMORY, attempted to measure it, and certainly have tried to figure out how to nurture store memories? Why do people remember some bits of information but not others? Can people improve their MEMORY? What is the capacity of MEMORY? It is agreed that memory generally works the same between humans yet each of us have completely different detail use of MEMORYit. Among the persistent questions have been: How does the brain?

    MEMORY and learning are very closely related, and the terms used to describe one process are often used to describe the other. The term learning is often used to refer to the processes involved with the initial acquisition of and encoding of information. However the distinction is not hard and fast. After all information is learned only when it can be recalled later, and retrieval cannot occur unless information was learned.

    Memory vs Time

    Most who study MEMORY divide memory into at least a short term memory definition and a long term memory definition. The initial, momentary recording of information in our sensory systems also needs a definition – Sensory Memory is a descriptive phrase covering the initial holding of something in memory before it is processed into short or long term memory. Each sense has a different method of holding something in this sensory method. When sensations hit our eyes, they linger briefly in the visuals system. You can still see them if you close your eyes. When you hear something, you can momentarily still hear it after it is done. Each sense has different methods of providing this persistence or sensory memory with varying time periods of persistence.

    Much testing of these sensory memory experiences have been done with results incorporated into various learning and communication techniques. Examples are the mechanical speed reading using the persistence of iconic memory (visual) being manipulated into the short term memory very quickly thus enhancing comprehension while shortening time to read a passage. Other applications of manipulating these sensory memory techniques would be in the position of information on Heads Up displays. Research shows that comprehension can be enhanced under certain conditions by sequentially presenting different but related displays instead of just showing a parallel view of all displays.

    MemoryLifter does not manipulate presentation of the materials to be memorized in the sensory memory. MemoryLifter does support the use of Multiple Media formats to assist in remembering something. MemoryLifter is designed to assist in moving things into the Long Term MEMORY much as skills are learned through practice.

    Short Term Memory or Working Memory

    Short Term Memory was the term originally used to refer to the ability to access information in mind for a brief time. As the concept of Short Term Memory expanded to include more than this immediate recall definition the term Working Memory was used as a more descriptive term of the new definition for soring the information briefly and manipulating the information into longer term MEMORY.

    Information can be kept circulating in Working Memory by rehearsing it. By saying a phone number over and over it will not be forgotten as long as you are repeating it. Once the repletion is stopped though you may immediately lose the ability to recall the phone number (maybe not also). This ability to move things from Working Memory into Long Term Memory is covered in the next section on forgetting.

    Working Memory has a number of limitations. It can hold only so much information and that is not that much when compared to all the things we must remember as humans. This is a very heavily researched and incompletely understood aspect of MEMORY. The memory span of Working Memory can be measured for given subjects at specific moments in time and varies by subject, but generally accepted measurements of memory span say that we can hold about seven items in Working Memory. When the definition is stated as ‘seven plus or minus two’ the measurements are surprising consistent though.

    Working Memory is critical for mental work such as solving problems ‘in your head’. Working Memory does seem to change with age and can be affected by other influences. Just as there were differences in perceiving information there are difference in Working Memory that are specific to the method of perception of the information.

    A short way of thinking of it is that Working Memory is where the action is.

    Long Term Memory

    A catch all phrase that refers to the rest of memory is Long Term Memory. It refers to facts learned a few seconds ago as well as things you learned as a child. Generally Long Term Memory refers to a system in the brain that can store and retrieve vast amounts of information on relatively enduring basis.

    There are many theories of how information enters this Long Term Memory. Traditionally it works to think of information entering Working Memory, spending some time in Working Memory and then entering Long Term Memory. While there are theories that say Short Term and Long Term Memory are entered in parallel rather than in sequence the difference is not relative to how MemoryLifter works.

    Apparently there is no finite capacity limit to Long Term Memory. People can and do learn new facts and skills throughout their lives. While there are several recognized Long Term Memory systems such as episodic memory to recall previous experiences and procedural memory to remember how to do things MemoryLifter is most concerned with Semantic Memory – our Long Term Memory of general knowledge that we use to manipulate and observe the world we live in.

    A simple model of MEMORY might make this easier to visualize.

    In this MEMORY model, information that enters the brain is briefly recorded in Sensory Memory. If we focus our attention on it, the information may become part of our Working Memory (Short term memory), where it can be manipulated and used. Through encoding techniques such as repetition and rehearsal, information may be transferred to Long Term Memory. Retrieving Long Term Memories makes them active again in Working Memory.

    MemoryLifter is targeted at controlling certain aspects of the encoding thus ensuring an easier and more sure transition into the Long Term Memory. While this model is greatly oversimplified and there exist varying levels of Long Term Memory it does serve to illustrate how MEMORY works while providing us with a vocabulary to discuss learning by memorization.

  4. norephinephrine


  5. nkhoi