Wednesday 24 August 2016

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Do you remember your first kiss, and the day you got your first paycheck? If you’re struggling with memory loss, Katrina Chan has a few cutting edge mnemonic devices to help you remember… stuff.
Why is it so hard to memorize history but so easy to memorize lyrics to a song?

And, why is it much easier to remember the names of our colleagues than the names of the emperors?

Actually, you may think trying to remember something is not difficult - but as you can probably attest from the above examples, it’s not particularly easy either.

But it is possible for you to train up your memory, because the brain is like a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

Here are some techniques that will help you to remember things – especially those things that you would normally have a hard time with.

Mnemonics – memory enhancing techniques

1.  Acronyms
We always easily forget the name of organizations or institutions that are not familiar with us. But, we may, in fact, need to get understand with them. If you want to recall those names easily, try to form letters into a phrase. E.g. WTO is World TradeOrganization.

Many companies apply this skill to let people from all over the world to recall their names easily. Such as the well-known brand,” LV”, taken the letters” L “and “V “from Louis Vuitton; “CK” from Calvin Klein. So, capitalize the first letters of what you want to remember, and spell them out into a word or phrase – which will be easier to remember.

2.  Rhymes
Rhyming is one of the most effective ways to remember disparate things. Converting a Chinese poem into a song makes remembering it justa piece of cake. This not only works for poems, but also for any historical date, piece of information or technical information that you have to remember.

3. Imagery
     Remembering words can be one of the funny games in your life! Is it difficult to spell the word “Arithmetic”? Imagine “A Rat In The House May Eat The IceCream”, that is the image created in your mind automatically. Image acts as an essential element for us to recall something.

      These days, every pop song is sent to air together with an attractive music video. You can catch the emotion and sing along to the lyrics without difficulty. You can understand the function of the image, if you have experienced the feelings behind it.

     Meanwhile, try to remember the name of your colleague by using this method too. Take the female name, Blair. Imagine that she is a girl with black hair. Remember, each system can let you to create your new different reference lists.

    Making puns and word games out of names makes them easier to remember.

4.  Loci
    This method maybe a little bit abstract for you to use, but is very helpful if adopted it properly, however.

     When you are faced with a list of words or information that need to be memorised, you should form visual images for each part of the information, and then associate each image with familiar things in a place you know very well. This is called your loci.

      Then, the only important thing that you remember well is the place you have chosen, such as your bedroom or your flat.

      To be more effective, associate the information or words with furniture in your flat. To recall your ideas or words, take a mental walk through your bedroom. Imagine what your bed represents, what your clock represents, and what the sofa represents.

      Let’s create your own room in your brain and take a mental walk. Don’t get lost.
Invent your own

So, what other mnemonics can you think of? Try to figure out your own mnemonic devices. Everything can be stored in your brain, as long as you remember the key!


Pattern Breaking
Find it hard to remember a piece of information? Look for details that break the pattern, which make it out of the ordinary. For example, if you’re trying to remember the name Gina, find something special about the person so that she won’t disappear in your mind. Perhaps it’s the orange juice she was drinking at the time – Orangina, perhaps?

Your Posture
You know, subjects who were in the same position for both learning and recall had a better memory than those who changed their posture. This could explain why studying in bed might not be as effective as studying at a desk!

External memory devices
No matter how old you are, keep writing down the important information in your notebook. Don’t be embarrassed to read it, even in a crowded train!

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