how to improve your memory


by ocean09
Tags: improve, memory
Chaos' lil bro Order
Chaos' lil bro Order is offline
#19
Jan8-07, 11:44 PM
P: 684
I know a couple tricks...


TRICK #1 -The Mind Movie -

Problem: Memorize a series of numbers 15 digits long. Series = 217136452649818

Solution: Create a movie in your mind of chronological events that incorporate all the numbers:
21 - I'm driving to the casino to play blackjack
71 - one mile over the rare 70mph speed limit
36 - one mile over the 35mph speed limit
45 - the size of my 45liter gas tank
2649 - I see two Lotto 6/49 tickets on my dashboard
818 - my cushioning of my car seats look like 818 turned sideways

When making the movie, look at the series you need to memorize, latch on to a sequence of numbers that you can anchor really well in your mind movie and proceed from there. Its best to make the movie flow so that you don't stumble into disconnects between sequences (ie. 21 to 71). So my above movie reads like this: I'm driving in my car to play blackjack (21), I take a super-quick highway (71), then I take a main street (31), I look down at my fuel gauge (45), I glance to the right to see my lottery tickets on the dashboard (2649), I look at my passenger seat to see its cushioning (818).

There is no limit to how long the story can be, its up to you. 100-200 digits is very doable. Try to make the sequences 3-5 digits long, like the (2649) sequence, that way you eat up more digits than if they are all 2 digit sequences. Also, when creating your mind movie, pick objects and places already familiar to you because they are already ingrained in your mind with no additional effort. Often I use walking through my house, going to work, or eating at my favorite restaurant because there are so many familiar objects in these places that I can easily associate number sequences with.

You'll see that after you get good at this technique, it almost seems like you are cheating at memorizing things, because it becomes to easy.




TRICK #2 -Tying multiple senses into one memory-

Problem: For some reason or the other, you always forget to lock your cottage door when you leave it

Solution: Use the environment outside of your cottage door to trigger your memory. Wait for a time when you DO lock your cottage door and try the following...

TOUCH- Take a mental note of how the door handle feels when you close it. Its curvature, its texture, its roughness, anything that you distinctly feel about the door handle when you close the door.

SMELL- Breathe in deeply. You may notice the smell of the metal door handle, the smell of the pine trees, or the humidity from the lake. Compress all these smells into one mental sensation of your cottage's exit's smell.

HEARING- Listen to the squeeling of the door handle being pulled down, the creaking of the door closing, the thump of the shut door. Sounds are extremely unique if you pay attention to them.

SEEING- Take a look at that bird feeder you see when you recoil away from the cottage door, see that distinct pine tree with its witch's back's knot in it halfway down the truck, gander at your neighbours mail box and take a mental snapshot.

TASTE- This sense comes into play very infrequently for obvious reasons so we won't touch upon it. For example, we don't usually taste our environment.


ALL TOGETHER NOW - Once you have mapped out your mental snapshots of all the sensory input you get when closing your cottage door, try thinking about them all at the same time and creating a master snapshot that includes them all. The beauty of this technique is that there are many redundant fail safes in it. For example, if your kid is yelling and you don't notice the door creaking, chances are you will still notice the shape and texture of the door handle. Conversely, if your kid is tugging on your jacket and you don't notice the shape and texture of the door handle, chances are you will still notice the smell of the pine trees, or see your neighbour's mailbox.

Often, noticing just one smell, or one sight, or one sound, etc. is enough for you to trigger your memory. Even better, is when you notice 2 at once, like if you happen to smell the pine trees at the moment you see your neighbours mailbox. When this happens, your recollection to lock the cottage door will be extra strong. DING! A light will go off in your mind and be brought to your consciousness to lock the cottage door.

The funny part is sometimes you can't turn this trick off. You could be in Germany's black forest, smell a pine tree and suddenly have the urge to lock your cottage door 5000 miles away. This is sure to give you a chuckle :) This also brings me to my final and very important point. You do not want to oversaturate your mental snapshots with too many sensory stimuli. In other words, I gave 3 examples per sense, but really 1 is enough to ensure the redundancy you need to never forget to lock the cottage door. The reason you don't want to oversaturate your mental snapshots is because if you use, lets say, the scent of a pine tree as your smell mnemonic for locking your cottage door, there's a good chance you will not be able to successfully use the smell of pine again for another memory task in the future. Therefore you always want to use the sense mnemonic that is most unique to the place you are. In the case of the cottage, the smell of the door handle is a very unique smell that is unlikely to be duplicated in any other places you will ever be.

This last notion is similiar to Chroot's technique where he makes up zany stories, like a Mad scientist playing Beethoven on a person's clavicle. The zanier the story the easier to remember it. The same thing goes with your sensory mnemonic, the more unique to your given situation the less the chance of mnemonic overlap with another memory.
Bannon,
Bannon, is offline
#20
Jan16-07, 01:59 AM
P: 15
The best way to memorize biology is to summarize every paragraph you read in your head before you move on to the next one. Eventually, before moving on to the next chapter, summarize all of the paragraphs you've just read in the original one.. By the end of the book, you will be-able to summarize the entire text. And pulling up specific information will be easier by digging through all of your mental summaries that you have made earlier to find the right one.
DaveC426913
DaveC426913 is offline
#21
Jan16-07, 11:36 AM
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Quote Quote by Bannon, View Post
The best way to memorize biology is to summarize every paragraph you read in your head before you move on to the next one. Eventually, before moving on to the next chapter, summarize all of the paragraphs you've just read in the original one..
Much better:
Write it down rather than in your head. The act of writing down fixes the thoughts in your head.
my_wan
my_wan is offline
#22
Jan16-07, 07:00 PM
P: 863
I can't even remember the names to the characters in a book I'm reading. I can learn more concepts in five minutes than I can remember names for in 5 years. In grade school I could multiply in my head fast enough to fool the teacher into believing I had memorized it. Later I learned than I could shouffle concepts into points on a graph or spread them over points but codifying it to standards so others understand is excruitiatingly slow. Even when programming I spend several days writting a few basic functions then copy/past the other 99% from those basics in a few hours. Coworkers blow me away on things they do every day but I'm the one called on when nobody has ever seen the problem before. I wish those memory tricks would work for me... but I wouldn't give up my strengths for it...
Chaos' lil bro Order
Chaos' lil bro Order is offline
#23
Jan17-07, 03:38 PM
P: 684
Quote Quote by my_wan View Post
I can't even remember the names to the characters in a book I'm reading. I can learn more concepts in five minutes than I can remember names for in 5 years. In grade school I could multiply in my head fast enough to fool the teacher into believing I had memorized it. Later I learned than I could shouffle concepts into points on a graph or spread them over points but codifying it to standards so others understand is excruitiatingly slow. Even when programming I spend several days writting a few basic functions then copy/past the other 99% from those basics in a few hours. Coworkers blow me away on things they do every day but I'm the one called on when nobody has ever seen the problem before. I wish those memory tricks would work for me... but I wouldn't give up my strengths for it...
I think your ability is more important than memory. Einstein used to say that he wouldn't bother to memorize formulae because he had reference sheets he could easily pull up if needs be. This meant that he could concentrate his mind on solving problems instead of memorizing them. Also, Feynman once commented that it was all fine and dandy that Hawkings could do differential calculations in his head, but then said he thought it was more valuable to create the equations in the first place, like QED.

Its the classic accountant vs. artist debate. Which is more valuable to society? I think the artist, because he first creates the question, then the accountant works out the answer. Without the artist, the accountant has no reason to wake up in the morning, but without the accountant, the artist still wakes up, but has more questions than answers before he goes to bed.
bassplayer142
bassplayer142 is offline
#24
Feb12-07, 01:08 AM
P: 422
Heres a cool trick for numbers that I came up with. When memorizing numbers imagine you are punching the numbers into a phone or calculator. I usually split them up into 3 numbers at a time.
venger
venger is offline
#25
Mar6-07, 06:39 PM
P: 61
Ever thought about coding your memory? What i mean by coding is using some sort of code to represent something. For instance, for every word you say you give it a number in your head then you write down the numbers on paper. From that you can improve your memory. Plus buy a nintendo DS and brain age. It helps your brain a lot.
Juche
Juche is offline
#26
Mar9-07, 12:06 PM
P: 36
Quote Quote by chroot View Post
BTW, Dave,

Here's an even neater technique for creating visual images for numbers:

Give each number a sound. I suggest the following list:

0 - S, Z, soft C
1 - T or D
2 - N
3 - M
4 - R
5 - L
6 - CH, J, hard G
7 - K, hard C
8 - F or PH
9 - B or P
- Warren

Sweet. I read that same mnemonic in a book. I always remembered it at.

1 These
2 New
3 Mnemonics
4 Are
5 Letting
6 Jesus
7 Keep
8 Fu*king
9 Prostitute
0 and Sleeping ZZZ

I'm so creative. The only supplement that has ever helped noticeably my memory has been bacopa.

In biochem I would build mnemonics about biochemical pathways. Or I would build images.

3-phospho-glycerate becomes an image of the lead singer from Bush (who wrote the song glycerine) holding a soft drink (phosphorous) in his hand (the 3 position).

'oh, Carl is a stupid, super fly man' (Carl is a guy I know who is a dick) was how I remembered the enzymes in the citric acid cycle Oxaloacetate Citrate Isocitrate Alpha ketoglutarate Succinyl coa Succiniate Fumurate Malate.
Chaos' lil bro Order
Chaos' lil bro Order is offline
#27
Mar10-07, 01:00 AM
P: 684
Quote Quote by Juche View Post
Sweet. I read that same mnemonic in a book. I always remembered it at.

1 These
2 New
3 Mnemonics
4 Are
5 Letting
6 Jesus
7 Keep
8 Fu*king
9 Prostitute
0 and Sleeping ZZZ

I'm so creative. The only supplement that has ever helped noticeably my memory has been bacopa.

In biochem I would build mnemonics about biochemical pathways. Or I would build images.

3-phospho-glycerate becomes an image of the lead singer from Bush (who wrote the song glycerine) holding a soft drink (phosphorous) in his hand (the 3 position).

'oh, Carl is a stupid, super fly man' (Carl is a guy I know who is a dick) was how I remembered the enzymes in the citric acid cycle Oxaloacetate Citrate Isocitrate Alpha ketoglutarate Succinyl coa Succiniate Fumurate Malate.

But why use a mnemonic to memorize 3-phospho-glycerate? It structure is implied by its name. I can see the reasoning behind your 2nd mnemonic.
desA
desA is offline
#28
Mar10-07, 01:43 AM
P: 94
Remember principles - write down specifics & details. Leave space in your head for important stuff.

Einstein apparently intimated something similar - if my memory serves me correctly.
Juche
Juche is offline
#29
Mar11-07, 04:37 PM
P: 36
Quote Quote by Chaos' lil bro Order View Post
But why use a mnemonic to memorize 3-phospho-glycerate? It structure is implied by its name. I can see the reasoning behind your 2nd mnemonic.
I have trouble with the names. It is hard to remember a name like 3-phospho-glycerate so you build an image of something easy to remember to represent it.
Mallignamius
Mallignamius is offline
#30
Mar12-07, 02:18 PM
Mallignamius's Avatar
P: 101
Quote Quote by chroot View Post
BTW, Dave,

-snip-

0 - S, Z, soft C
1 - T or D
2 - N
3 - M
4 - R
5 - L
6 - CH, J, hard G
7 - K, hard C
8 - F or PH
9 - B or P

-snip-
- Warren
Shouldn't this be:
6 - CH, SH, J, soft G
7 - K, hard C, hard G
8 - F, PH, V
?
Evo
Evo is offline
#31
Mar12-07, 10:44 PM
Mentor
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P: 25,912
I just do not get all this complex and convoluted need to do all these associations.

Although memory has never been a problem for me, I did discover a neat ability a month ago that maybe some can use.

I was teasing my best friend that they needed to remind me of my shopping list when I went to the store. I gave them a list of items, thinking that if I was at the store I could call them to read me the list.

Knowing that they probably would not keep the list, I created a mental folder for them which I labeled *to do list*. I placed my shopping list into the folder. I also wanted to watch an upcoming tv show, so I placed the TV guide info into the folder.

A few days later, I wanted to place some more grocery items into the folder and when I opened it, there at the top was the TV guide information for the show that night that I had completely forgotten about. I had even forgotten I had put it into the folder.

I realized that for any memory (at least short term, I will have to experiment to see how long these memories last) I could just place them (without thinking or memorization) into a folder to be accessed at a later date.

You should try this, especially if your memory is visual. Just drop the mental image of whatever you need into a "folder" and then you can look at it any time you need it. The "folder" makes it easy to find the images quickly.

Please let me know if this works for you.
Chaos' lil bro Order
Chaos' lil bro Order is offline
#32
Mar14-07, 12:31 AM
P: 684
Quote Quote by Evo View Post
I just do not get all this complex and convoluted need to do all these associations.

Although memory has never been a problem for me, I did discover a neat ability a month ago that maybe some can use.

I was teasing my best friend that they needed to remind me of my shopping list when I went to the store. I gave them a list of items, thinking that if I was at the store I could call them to read me the list.

Knowing that they probably would not keep the list, I created a mental folder for them which I labeled *to do list*. I placed my shopping list into the folder. I also wanted to watch an upcoming tv show, so I placed the TV guide info into the folder.

A few days later, I wanted to place some more grocery items into the folder and when I opened it, there at the top was the TV guide information for the show that night that I had completely forgotten about. I had even forgotten I had put it into the folder.

I realized that for any memory (at least short term, I will have to experiment to see how long these memories last) I could just place them (without thinking or memorization) into a folder to be accessed at a later date.

You should try this, especially if your memory is visual. Just drop the mental image of whatever you need into a "folder" and then you can look at it any time you need it. The "folder" makes it easy to find the images quickly.

Please let me know if this works for you.

Ummm. Am I missing something here or did you just use a mental folder to associate your tv program with groceries. So when you thought of groceries, you thought of your tv program. I don't think its fair too call other's mnemonics 'convoluted', considering they are designed to memorize information a little more detailed than a tv show air time (lmao).

Put a 30 digit number in that groceries folder and the next time you are in the produce isle lets see if you can remember it.
venger
venger is offline
#33
Mar14-07, 08:48 AM
P: 61
Quote Quote by Evo View Post
I just do not get all this complex and convoluted need to do all these associations.

Although memory has never been a problem for me, I did discover a neat ability a month ago that maybe some can use.

I was teasing my best friend that they needed to remind me of my shopping list when I went to the store. I gave them a list of items, thinking that if I was at the store I could call them to read me the list.

Knowing that they probably would not keep the list, I created a mental folder for them which I labeled *to do list*. I placed my shopping list into the folder. I also wanted to watch an upcoming tv show, so I placed the TV guide info into the folder.

A few days later, I wanted to place some more grocery items into the folder and when I opened it, there at the top was the TV guide information for the show that night that I had completely forgotten about. I had even forgotten I had put it into the folder.

I realized that for any memory (at least short term, I will have to experiment to see how long these memories last) I could just place them (without thinking or memorization) into a folder to be accessed at a later date.

You should try this, especially if your memory is visual. Just drop the mental image of whatever you need into a "folder" and then you can look at it any time you need it. The "folder" makes it easy to find the images quickly.

Please let me know if this works for you.
Its like saying there is a particular day that that you have to do something. For example monday i have to go to a baseball game. A day later I realize i need to drop off a movie monday and to my surprise i suddenly remembered i had a baseball game to go to.
Juche
Juche is offline
#34
Mar16-07, 06:23 PM
P: 36
Quote Quote by Evo View Post
I just do not get all this complex and convoluted need to do all these associations.

Although memory has never been a problem for me, I did discover a neat ability a month ago that maybe some can use.

I was teasing my best friend that they needed to remind me of my shopping list when I went to the store. I gave them a list of items, thinking that if I was at the store I could call them to read me the list.

Knowing that they probably would not keep the list, I created a mental folder for them which I labeled *to do list*. I placed my shopping list into the folder. I also wanted to watch an upcoming tv show, so I placed the TV guide info into the folder.

A few days later, I wanted to place some more grocery items into the folder and when I opened it, there at the top was the TV guide information for the show that night that I had completely forgotten about. I had even forgotten I had put it into the folder.

I realized that for any memory (at least short term, I will have to experiment to see how long these memories last) I could just place them (without thinking or memorization) into a folder to be accessed at a later date.

You should try this, especially if your memory is visual. Just drop the mental image of whatever you need into a "folder" and then you can look at it any time you need it. The "folder" makes it easy to find the images quickly.

Please let me know if this works for you.


What you're describing is a mix of association and visualization, both mnemonic devices. They are good too, I have used them.

For example, if given a list of 10 items to memorize

bear
horse
computer
car
CD
pancake
chair
comb
wallet
refrigerator


You create a story and visualize it to remember it. A bear attacks a horse, and a guy on a computer watches. he then gets in his car, puts in a CD, and drives to get pancakes. On the way out he knocks over a chair, dropping his comb and wallet. When he gets home and tries to empty his pockets near the refrigerator he realizes he has lost his comb & wallet.


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