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Guest articles > Memory


by: Margaret Francis


Memory is an important aspect of human life. With out memory there is no meaning in life. Memory is a product of organized and conscious effort on the part of each individual, fired by the need to know and remember or succeed in life. Through practice and general awareness of factors, which leads to better memory. The ability to memorize events are the process of registering the event in the parts of the brain, when the event happens or we experience any thing at the time of the event. If we want to remember the previous events, or any related event we saw, then the previous events will automatically come to our mind and able to relate it with the present one. Memory depends upon person’s interest and attention. It also depends on how we practice. Crack and Lockhart (1972) argued that rehearsal alone is not sufficient for long-term memory, which is not very deep. They have believed that the memory is the depth processing in which need to identify how long the event is to memorize, long term or short-term period.

Interest: Memory always depends upon the interest of the person towards the event or the subject. If we have interest we will be more attentive and able to capture the event as a whole and it is easy to remember. We remember that which evoke our curiosity or that which touches us deeply. If we are interested in a particular subject, we are less likely to forget it. To improve memory, we need to cultivate interest in the subject, which we want to remember. The interested aspects we will store in our memory by relating it with our previous experience. So it is easy to remember, since we have keen interest in that particular subject. Eysenck(1972) shows that the more distinctive or unusual information is, the better it is remembered. Eysenck(1985) argued that simply thinking of memory in terms of levels of processing on their own , could not account for the variability in how information was remembered, although it might account for the same. He also pointed out the important factors requires the person to memorize effectively. The factors are always depends on the nature of the task, type of material which is to be remembered, the person’s own knowledge of the idea concerned, and the way that memory performance is tested.

Attention: If we really have interest in any subject, we will pay attention to details. We will be able to capture the related areas. We try to read and hear more. The visual effect also very helpful to remember the things. Apart from this we try to improve your observation skill.

Comprehension: Try to analyze and understand more on what you are learning. Clear your doubts and seek clarification. Take adequate points or make mental notes, until you are certain that you understand fully and what is to be remember. Try to correlate with previous experience or the familiar items, which is very easy for you to remember.

Repetition: Repetition of the thing, which you want to remember, is very effective. Re-read, write, draw related pictures, memorize until the subject is firmly fixed in your mind. More repetitions ensure better chance of remembrance.

Review: Review what is remembered –It is resurfacing that which has been pushed back by the new layers of knowledge. Review will help us to

Application: Apply and practice what you have learned. If you are learning a language and have learned new words, start using them in your conversation. We can learn many things by doing. Also the learned thing we are applying into our practical life, it will be easier for as to remember.

Recall: Try to remember what you have experienced in the past. In recall, you really more on your mind and your ability to think, visualize and reconstruct mentally what you want to remember. Morris, Bransford and franks (1977) gave evidence against the levels of processing. They said that it is possible that the better recall of meaningful materials is due to the way the participants memories were tested., in their study of “short-term memory recall of pictures, words, and pictures and words presented together” shows that pictures and words together were better remembered than words alone, but pictures and words together were not significantly better than pictures alone.

Association: Try to associate new knowledge with the old knowledge, which is already stored in your mind. Human knowledge is relative; we remember things in association with other things. We need to associate the new things with the familiar topics.

Imagination: Create an image map of the thing which you want to remember or visualize the whole thing mentally develop interesting associations, which will enable you to remember the subject more efficiently and for longer periods.

Other Factors

Physical health: Good health is the basis for good memory. Mental Health: An open mind, a certain degree of humility, willingness to learn, to be corrected, enhance your ability to learn and comprehend and thereby your ability to remember. Positive attitude and peaceful mind will capture more and help as to improve our memory. Organize: Use your mind efficiently and for the higher purpose of making yourself more effective and efficient in what ever you do. Store only useful information, that which helps you achieve your goals.

Eye Movements: A study conducted by Melinda Wenner (2007) suggested moving your eye improve memory. Horizontal eye movements are thought to cause the two hemispheres of the brain to interact more than one another, and communication between brain hemispheres is important for retrieving certain types of memories. Previous studies shows that horizontal eye movement improves the capacity of the people to recall specific words than just seen. Researchers found that the people who performed the horizontal eye movements correctly remembered, on average more than 10 percent more words. Stephan Christman in another study reveals that horizontal eye movement improves recall memory. Christman said that leftward eye movements activates the right brain hemisphere and that right ward movements activate the left hemisphere. He thought that horizontal eye movements might, improve memory by helping the hemisphere interact.

Sleep: Strengthen memories and Makes them resistant to interfering information. Science daily (2006) pointed out that researchers have uncovered new evidence that sleep improves the brain’s ability to remember information. The findings demonstrated that memories of recent events or the learned word are improved if sleep intervenes between learning and testing and that this benefit is most pronounced when memory is challenged by competing information.The findings are reported in July 12th issue of current Biology by Jeffrey Ellenbogen of Harward Medical School and his collegues.this is the first study to show that sleep protects memories from interference. Food habit & Memory One twenty year Harvard Medical school study of more than 13,000 women showed that the participants who ate relatively high amounts of vegetables over the years had less age- related decline in memory. Cruiciferous vegetables like Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower etc.and leafy green vegetables had the biggest effect. A study conducted by Rush University medical center in Chicago followed more than 3,000 men and women for six years to see how diet affected memory. They found that people who ate fish at least once a week had a 10 percent slower decline. A long term health study has shown that vitamin E and Vitamin C supplements have a “significant protective effect “ against memory problems and loss of mental alertness, according to Cornell University medical publication. Steps to improve your memory 1. Take in information 2. About five minutes later undisturbed, go over the main points of what you are trying to remember. That should only take you a minute or two. 3. An hour later do the same thing 4. Three hours later, do it again and go back over the information a minute or two. 5. Six hours later, do the same thing. Then that night before you go to sleep, review the material one last time. 6. Repeat that tree times a day for the second and third days. Now you have that information for a long time.




5. Srivasrava,A.K.,& Purhoit,A.K.(1979), Short term memory for pictures and verbal labels(words): a test of duel-coding hypothesis. Psychologia; An International Journal of Psychology in the orient.


Article, by Margaret Francis, MSW, M.Phil, PGDCIM Faculty SCMS Cochin

Contributor: Margaret Francis

Published here on: 14-Dec-08

Classification: Development, Psychology


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