This is a blog on a recent Memory Education class from UCLA Longevity Center’s Brain Boot Camp.
The Brain Boot Camp is a 90 minute course that offers individualized healthy aging lifestyle programs, tips for a healthy heart and brain diet, and advanced memory techniques for learning and recalling names and other common memory challenges.
I have reported in an earlier blog on UCLA Longevity Center’s brain and memory classes. Please see my blog entitled “Memory Exercises for the Brain” where I covered how to improve memory by associating names with prominent facial features.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MEMORY:
A brief sensory record
5 to 7 chunks of information capacity, such as a telephone number
Ability to keep information in conscious mind
Ability to learn and later recall information
(Secondary Memory is most vulnerable to the effects of aging – the ability to RECALL is affected)
Age-related effects are relatively small
There is a 10% decline per decade beginning in midlife
Therefore it behooves us to strengthen our Secondary Memory, our ability to learn and later recall information
remote memories, i.e., childhood memories
How do you strengthen your Secondary memory?
Strategies for increasing our ability to recall
We can do this by doing the following memory training techniques (these are the basics of memory training)
Noticing information from all your senses
Make information meaningful by using imagery
Make it personally relevant by associating with what you already know
Organize and chunk information
HOW IS THIS DONE?
Creating a New Memory (encoding, registration)
Here are some Strategies to help improve your ability to create a new memory:
Coding – registration
Improve your ability to learn by repetition (pay attention, want to remember). Example: when you encounter someone or something for the first time, pay attention, make a conscious effort to remember it. Use all five senses to strengthen the memory. What does something look like? Smell like? Sound like?
Rehearsal and Consolidation – repetition and transfer: Repeat the new information a few times, indicating a desire to remember the new information. Example: you meet your new neighbor Harry. Repetition: repeat the name “Harry” a few times, in the conversation.
Storage – retention: Associate the new memory with something known to you. Organize and chunk information. Organizing information with something you already know is a good help to remembering and recalling. For example:
Organize: Associate your new neighbor Harry with your Uncle Harry.
Organize: Sentences, rhymes, saying: I’d never marry my neighbor Harry.
Organize: Harry sounds like “hairy”.
Images: Picture neighbor Harry shaking hands with Uncle Harry, with lot of hair (“hairy”).
In other words, store this memory in a place where you can later retrieve it (you do this by associating the memory with other details, something you already know).
More Recall Strategies:
The Chunking Method
An aid to remembering lists: An example: to remember the words Toaster, Sports car, Eagle, Microwave, Text messages, Airplane, Robin, Email, Yacht, Blender, Letter, Ostrich:
Chunk items into three lists: appliances, birds, modes of transportation
Associate all appliances together: toaster, microwave, blender
Associate all birds together: eagle, robin, ostrich
Associate all modes of transportation together: sports car, airplane, yacht
A word about multitasking
As we age, it becomes more difficult to multitask.
Fact: There is a link between “senior moments”, multitasking and working memory.
Fact: Multitasking has a negative effect on working memory.
Fact: As we age we have a more difficult time letting go of distractions and regaining our ability to focus on the original task at hand.
In the current digital era, we are pushing the limits with multitasking
Only focus on one thing at a time
I hope you have enjoyed this blog on memory techniques by UCLA Longevity Center.
Click on the heading “Brain Games” (top of page) to view the latest blogs on this website. Enter the full or partial title of an earlier blog in the “Search” box to view the desired blog.