Memory refers to the methods needed to acquire, store, retain, and later retrieve data. Memory involves three fundamental processes such as encoding, storage, and retrieval. This is not, however, a perfect method. Memory is composed of three basic processes: encoding, storage, and finally, retrieval. Human memory entails the skill set to save and restore information. This is still not a completely perfect method.
Memory is not a perfect processor and is influenced by various things. All methods for encoding, storing, and retrieving information can be corrupted. It is found that pain degrades memory, which has been observed in both animal models and chronic pain patients.
Forgetfulness or Amnesia is a common problem shared by many. While this is a natural occurrence, having a bad memory can be extremely annoying. Genetics also influences memory loss, particularly in fatal neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. However, research has revealed that diet and lifestyle have a significant impact on memory.
Types of Memory
- Short-term memory: Can be explained as the information set a person is currently thinking about or aware of referred short-term memory. It is often referred to as primary memory. A Short-term memory stores recent events and sensory data such as noises. Short-term memory, for example, can be used to recall a large number that has just been spoken.
- Long-term memory: Long-term memory is storing information over a lengthy period. This memory is usually steady and can continue for a long time(even years). Long-term memory is again divided into two types: explicit (conscious) memory and implicit (unconscious) memory. An example of this would be remembering a phone number mentioned quite a time (could be days, months) back.
- Sensory memory enables you to recall and remember sensory information after the stimulation has stopped. According to researchers, all other memories begin with establishing sensory memories. Typically, our sensory memory only retains information for a short span. An example of Sensory memory is the ability to remember the sensation of another person’s touch or a sound heard in passing.
Now, the undisputed question that we all face is how do we overcome forgetfulness. Or if put, how do we improve or increase our memory. This has been a prevalent question for mankind since some major civilisation days. As we have got busier and busier with our lives, with an abundance of distractions paving their way, forgetfulness has slowly crept into us. This has now become a major problem statement. With their thoughtful insight, many progressive parents are trying to improve the memories of their children from nursery stages to build a good future. A good memory is a master tool for human excellence. Similarly, forgetfulness is a misery to be solved. So let’s find out ways to improve our memory:
- Attention + Focus: Yes, it is focused attention. By their dictionary meaning, focus and attention are great traits to have, as we all know. However, they are more than just the sum of their parts when clubbed together. One of the most vital aspects of memory is called “attention.” Students must actively attend to information to move from the short-term memory to the long-term memory. Students should study in noise-free surroundings devoid of distractions like television, gaming, music, social media, and other diversions.
- Less Sugar Please: Though this is not a lecture on how your diet should be, it is imperative to say that less sugar consumption will greatly impact your mental and physical ability both. According to research, a diet full of sugar can result in poor memory and decreased brain volume, particularly in the area that stores short-term memory. For example, one study of over 4,000 people discovered that those who consumed more sugary beverages like soda had poorer memories and lower total brain volumes on average than those who consumed less sugar.
- You can train your brain: The brain, like muscles, requires regular use to stay healthy. Mental workouts are just as important as other factors for grey matter, and challenging the mind can help it grow and expand, which may improve memory. Researchers discovered that people who engaged in 15 minutes of brain training activities five times per week improved their brain function. When researchers compared the participants to a controlled set of people doing crossword puzzles, their working memory, then short-term memory, to problem-solving skill sets all improved significantly.
While strengthening a student’s cognitive abilities, numeracy is critical, as it aids in developing logical thinking. This exercise aims first to observe and then recall the information. Turn on a slow metronome and practise “covering the click.” This is a neurobic exercise that can assist you in concentrating on something your brain has been programmed to accomplish. This increase in focus allows the student to pay more attention to his surroundings while improving his memory.
- Organize & structure: Not that you did not know this. Researchers discovered that information in memory is organized into related large groups. Students can take the best out of this by organizing their study materials. Students should outline their notes and most textbook readings to help them with group-related concepts. This helps in daily studies. An effective technique to improve recall and memory is to organize information into logical categories. For example, if someone is trying to recall terminology for a foreign language lesson, group words with similar meanings or fall into comparable categories. This will allow students to correlate words with certain categories, which will provide context and meaning. Organized information is considerably easier to remember than unorganized information.
- Meditate: It has been observed in the last decade that, like fashion, people often go back to the history pages to solve a lot of trivial to significant life problems. Meditation certainly is one of them. Regular meditation betters blood flow rhythm to the student’s brain, resulting in a stronger network of blood vessels in the cerebral cortex and enhancing memory capacity.
According to a study published in a reputable cognition journal, meditating for 20 minutes a day improves memory and concentration. Mindfulness meditation may aid in memory enhancement. Many studies show that meditation improves brain function, lowers markers of brain deterioration, and improves both working memory and long-term memory, thus helping in cognitive abilities.
The researchers looked at the brains that meditated regularly and those that did not. Their findings suggested that meditating regularly may cause long-term brain alteration, such as increased brain plasticity, which aids in brain health.
- Concept visualization: Many people find that visualizing the knowledge they study is beneficial. Take note of any images, charts, or other illustrations in your textbooks. Students should consider making their visual signals for group-related topics in their written study materials, drawing figures in the note’s margins, or using highlighters of different colors.
- Have a sound and enough sleep: Often, inadequate sleep is connected and aided to poor memory. Sleep is essential for memory consolidation, which is how short-term memories get consolidated and converted to long-term memories. According to research, sleep deprivation might hurt memory. According to health experts, students should receive between seven and nine hours of sound sleep per day. Sleep can integrate information into pre-existing memory networks, search for common patterns and distill overarching laws, or simply stabilize and reinforce the memory in its original form. According to recent studies, sleep promotes integration across various memories, insight into hidden solutions, and the ability to establish creative connections between distantly related ideas and concepts.
- Dark Chocolate is a saviour: People who consumed dark chocolate regularly outperformed those who did not on spatial memory experiment cum tests. The cocoa flavonoids boosted brain blood flow, according to the study. With that stated, it is critical not to add extra sugar to the diet of the students, therefore students should strive for dark chocolate with at least 72 percent cacao content and avoid chocolate with the addition of sugar( The sugar part is already mentioned before). The brain consumes a significant amount of oxygen, accounting for around 20% of total body intake. This makes the brain vulnerable to free radical damage. Free radicals damage cells in the same manner as oxygen affects metal by causing rusting.
Loud reading & dictation: According to research conducted in 2017, reading documents aloud boosts a student’s ability to remember the material greatly. Psychologists and educators have observed that having students teach new topics to others improves comprehension and retention. Active participation improves learning and memory. The study examined four approaches to learning written information:
- Reading silently.
- Hearing someone else read.
- Listening to a recording of oneself reading.
- Reading aloud in real-time.
- The producing effect of reading the material aloud to oneself resulted in the best remembrance, according to the results of tests with close to 100 participants.
- Physical Exercise: Physical exercise is a contributor to a lot of goodness. Exercise benefits memory and thinking in both indirect and direct ways. Exercise benefits directly from its capacity to decrease insulin resistance and inflammation and increase the production of growth factors like chemicals that affect the brain cells, the formation of new blood vessels, and even the number and survival of newborn brain cells. Exercise indirectly enhances the mood and sleep of students while decreasing stress and anxiety. These issues typically cause or aid in cognitive impairment. So as the saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy “.
There are numerous ways to improve students’ memory or, for that matter, any person’s memory. The most feasible one should be practiced regularly to attain the benefits. It is not a one-time exercise to receive all the betterment, though. Students cannot expect high marks by eating less sugar and consuming more dark chocolate just before an exam. This is a continuous process and will only yield results with habituation. Once the students read this article, they will understand that to achieve something. It is equally important to know what not to do and what to do. Sometimes the former is even more valuable.
1. What are some available food sources to boost memory?
Researchers scientifically backed some foods to boost memory with regular and prolonged use. Such foods are- Dark chocolate, fatty fish, coffee, blueberries, turmeric, Nuts, etc.
2. Does running help in brain functions or memory storage?
Like many other outdoor activities, Running is good exercise for students if done regularly with a proper schedule. Running helps in boosting memory and cognitive functions.
3. What are some bad practices students should stop to improve memory?
Students are often indulged in having high-carb diets with an affinity toward processed meat and fast foods. Refined carbs, high sugar drinks, processed meat, and fast food- are all detrimental to memory.
4. Does yoga help in memory improvement?
Yoga is widely regarded as a physical and soul-enriching activity mode. Yoga and meditation are quite interlinked and, if done under proper guidance, can help in aspects that eventually boost our memory.