Methods of improving long term memory

Science-Backed Memory Tips and Recall Techniques

Memory plays an essential role in everyday life, enabling us to learn about the world around us and adapt accordingly. We use memory in every moment, whether it be for remembering our clients’ first names, studying for a nursing school exam, or countless other aspects of our work and life.

Information we take in goes through the three stages of memory: encoding, storage, and retrieval. The encoding process converts information into a construct stored in the brain. Then the information is stored as either a long-term memory or short-term memory. Finally, information is available to be retrieved from storage.

There are several ways to facilitate this process, protect against memory decline, and enhance our ability to retain information. Below, we outline strategies for boosting brain health, as well as specific techniques for memorizing and recalling information.

Tips for Memory Improvement

The best way to protect and improve memory is by making good lifestyle choices: exercising regularly, limiting stress, eating healthfully, and getting enough sleep. You can also keep the mind agile by learning a foreign language or playing brain training games to improve thinking skills and short-term memory.

  • Exercise regularly: Exercise is one of the best things you can do to protect your memory. Regular aerobic exercise (cardio) appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the area of the brain involved in verbal memory and learning. Regular exercise can also help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress, and sleep better, all of which are related to memory.
  • Limit stress: Meditation and mindfulness are also great ways to reduce stress and improve sleep. Meditation has been shown to improve episodic memory, the memory of everyday events.
  • Be conscious of what you consume: Not surprisingly, what you put into your body can also affect your memory. Consuming a balanced diet that includes healthy fats and natural sugar (glucose)—and limits saturated fat, refined sugar, and alcohol—may be best for promoting long-term memory function.
  • Sleep: Sleep is critical, as it plays a role in consolidating of memories. Also, a lack of sleep can impair an individual’s ability to concentrate. You can improve sleep by exercising regularly, engaging in mindfulness/meditation, limiting alcohol, and avoiding caffeine in the afternoon and evening.

8 Memory Techniques for Retaining Information

When studying for an exam, preparing a presentation, or getting ready to deliver a speech, you will likely need to memorize information.

Before you start preparing, you can do several things to set yourself up for success. Try to avoid distractions while you’re studying, plan ahead so you don’t need to cram, and take study breaks. Evidence suggests that studying shortly before going to sleep, as well as sleeping between learning sessions, can help people retain information.

Below are 8 science-backed techniques for retaining information and improving recall and memory performance.

1. Organize the information

Start by outlining the information you will need to recall. Creating a detailed, but organized outline of the information allows you to highlight and focus on important concepts.

A useful organization strategy is the chunking method, which breaks down large amounts of information into smaller, logical units that are easy to understand. For example, when learning a foreign language, you can list vocabulary words in functional groups such as household items, animals, and occupations. Chunking is a valuable tool for memorization.

2. Make associations

Creating associations by drawing on existing knowledge is another helpful way to memorize information. You can create mental images and connect with sounds, smells, and tastes to help encode memories.

The Baker/baker paradox tells us that if two individuals are to remember that someone’s last name is Baker, they are much more likely to do so if they picture the person as a professional baker (i. e., Mr. Baker wearing a chef’s hat). This is why developing a story is a powerful way to retain information. For example, if you want to remember that a client’s name is Sandy, you might picture her walking along a beach. 

3. Use visual cues

Using visual tools such as concept maps, graphs, illustrations, and photos can be beneficial for learning. Graphs and charts also simplify information, making it easier to comprehend and later recall. 

This method can be beneficial to visual learners, meaning individuals who better conceptualize information they can see. It’s also a great technique for presenters who can use visuals in their slide deck as retrieval cues.

Aside from being a great memory technique for retaining information, visual cues are also great for boosting spatial memory. Research has shown that visual cues have helped spatial navigation among AD and MCI patients.

4. Create mnemonics

Using mnemonic devices, such as acronyms, acrostics, and rhymes, is a good way to memorize information long-term. For example, do you remember what year Columbus landed in America? You likely do if you ever learned the rhyme, “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” So if you need to remember a series of numbers for work, you might consider coming up with a creative rhyme. 

For more visual learners, another mnemonic device you can use is building a memory palace. A memory palace is an imaginary place (it can be a house or a familiar venue) where you can store mnemonic images. The idea behind this is you take a journey in your mind to recall the information. Some contestants in the World Memory Championship would even incorporate a story method with their memory palace.

5. Write it down

It turns out that some things are just better done the old-fashioned way. Researchers have found that writing down information by hand is more effective than typing for learning concepts. Because it takes longer to write by hand, you are naturally forced to be more selective with what you write and focus only on the key information. In fact, less is more when it comes to note taking. One study showed that the more words students wrote down verbatim when note taking, the worse they performed on recall tests.

6. Say it out loud

When you need to remember new information, it’s helpful to read it aloud. One study determined that the dual action of speaking and hearing ourselves talk helps get words and phrases into long-term memory. This study, among others, confirms that memory benefits from active involvement.

7. Engage in active recall

Testing yourself forces you to pull information from your memory. Flashcards are a great way to self-test. Studies show that retrieval practice can greatly enhance recollection than simply restudying materials. This is likely a very effective way to commit things to memory because of the significant extra effort involved.

8. Rehearse

Practice really does make perfect. Rehearse information over and over, either by writing it down or reading it aloud.

Studies suggest that spaced repetition—spacing out learning over a longer period of time—is a more effective way to memorize information than trying to “cram” a lot of information into your brain over a short period of time.

All of these memory techniques are not only backed up by science, but even memory champions can attest to their efficacy. Even if you aren’t a memory athlete, these memorization techniques can help you at school or at work.  Check out our posts on effective study techniques and learning from home for further information.


Indeed Editorial Team. Indeed. “Nurse Practitioner vs. Family Nurse Practitioner: Definitions and How They Differ.” May 13, 2021. Accessed: January 26, 2022

Karpicke, Jeffrey D. and Henry L. Roediger III. “The Critical Importance of Retrieval for Learning.” Science 319, no. 5865 (February 2008): 966–968. doi: 10.1126/science.1152408.

Trafton, Anne. “In the blink of an eye.” MIT News. January 16, 2014. Accessed: January 26, 2022

Memory - Harvard Health

What is Memory?

As we age, it’s common to worry about losing our memories (That’s partly because a certain amount of age-related memory loss is perfectly normal). In order to preserve your memory as you age, it’s important to understand how memory functions. So, what is memory? Where in the brain are memories stored, and how does the brain retrieve them?

Quite simply, memory is our ability to recall information. Scientists talk about different types of memories based either on their content or on how we use the information. For example, remembering the layout of your grandmother’s kitchen is different in both content and purpose than remembering the middle three digits of a plumber’s phone number while looking at his business card as you dial the phone. The main two categories for memories are short-term and long-term.

Short-term memories involve information that you only need to recall for a few seconds or minutes. If you’re turning at an intersection, the fact that there were no cars coming when you looked to the left is important, but once you’ve made your turn you will quickly discard the information because it is no longer relevant. Keeping it around would unnecessarily clutter your brain.

Long-term memories contain the information that makes you you—not just facts (like the capital of Kansas) or events (like your senior prom) but also skills and processes (like typing or dancing the Macarena). Long-term memory is durable yet changeable; a memory can evolve based on retelling a story or on new information learned after the event.

Memories are not stored in a single location in the brain. Instead, the sensory components of a memory—sight, smell, sound, etc.—are distributed to different areas of the brain, and the act of remembering occurs as the brain pieces those bits back together. Each time a memory is created, its constituent parts are catalogued in the deep-brain structure known as the hippocampus. Next to the hippocampus sits the amygdala, the brain’s emotional center. It flags certain memories as being important or emotionally powerful. The different components of the memory are then distributed mostly to sections of the cerebral cortex, which is the outer layer of the brain.

When it’s time to retrieve a memory, you rely on the part of the brain known as the frontal lobes, which are involved in attention and focus. The pieces of the memory are then pulled from the areas of the cerebral cortex where they’re stored. For example, to remember a scene from your favorite movie might involve pulling in data from the brain’s visual region to recall the backdrop and the actors’ faces, but also information from the language region to remember the dialogue—and perhaps even the auditory region to remember the soundtrack or sound effects. Together, these components form a unique neuronal pattern that lies dormant until you set about remembering it, at which point it is reactivated.

What Causes Memory Loss and Forgetfulness?

Like the rest of our bodies, our brains change with age, meaning that most of us will find ourselves struggling to recall newly learned information or even to think of words we know well. That’s usually not cause for alarm, since some memory loss in elderly people is quite normal and not indicative of memory loss diseases such as Alzheimer’s. But what causes memory loss, and how and why does memory change with age?

Many of the things we think of as normal memory loss with aging can actually be attributed to a slight decline in our ability to perform tasks requiring attention and so-called executive function (planning, sequencing and regulating thought). Specific age-related changes in the brain are associated with that lower executive function. For example, to think of an acquaintance’s name, you must rapidly make connections between brain cells. Each cell (called a neuron) is separated from its neighbors by a tiny gap called a synapse, and a signal from one brain cell must cross that gap to the next one via a chemical messenger called a neurotransmitter. Once across the gap, it must “unlock” a structure called a receptor on the destination cell. With age, both the brain’s chemistry and the structural integrity of the neurons’ wiring deteriorate (The hippocampus, crucial for memory processing, also shrinks). That doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to recall the bit of information that’s eluding you, but it does mean it might take some time for the brain to forge a path to where the memory is stored. Thus most “memory loss” in seniors is actually just a slowing of performance. You can still learn, retain, and recall plenty of information, but it might take you longer—and require a bit more determination—than it did when you were younger.

Some forms of memory loss are caused by head trauma, including brain injuries resulting from high-impact sports such as boxing, soccer and football. Memory loss can be part of a primary brain disease. But it can also happen in people with depression, thyroid malfunction and even vitamin deficiencies, all of which can result in improved memory with appropriate treatment.

We also know that stress, fatigue, sleep deprivation and the feeling of being overwhelmed can contribute to short-term memory loss and forgetfulness. Middle age can be a difficult period of life in which our responsibilities can extend to ourselves, our spouses, our jobs, our children, our parents and even our grandchildren. It’s not uncommon, then, to feel distracted and find it harder to concentrate on things we’re trying to remember.

So how do you know when to visit a doctor for memory loss? If you begin to experience difficulty completing familiar tasks, or have bouts of forgetfulness that extend beyond minor inconvenience and disrupt your day-to-day functioning, there may be something more serious going on than normal age-related memory loss.

What is Mild Cognitive Impairment?

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) occurs in nearly 20% of adults over age 65. While many people assume it is a precursor to full-blown dementia, fewer than half of people with MCI go on to develop Alzheimer’s dementia within five years. MCI is marked by either memory loss, a decline in cognitive fitness, or both, that is worse than should be expected for the patient’s age.

When the impairment is largely memory-related, doctors refer to it as amnestic MCI. With normal age-related memory loss, people tend to forget fairly trivial things like where they put their car keys. But with amnestic MCI, the things patients forget are more important—who the presidential candidates are, what was discussed in last week’s Zoom meeting, what college your granddaughter attends. Even so, the impairment is considered “mild” because it does not significantly impact day-to-day functions like preparing food, driving and personal hygiene.

The other main subtype of MCI is called non-amnestic. Rather than affecting memory, non-amnestic MCI manifests as cognitive decline in other areas such as language, spatial awareness or the ability to focus and maintain attention. Someone with non-amnestic MCI might find it difficult to keep up with a conversation, pay their bills, make decisions, repair a faucet or understand a speech. Again, however, the impairment is not so severe as to disrupt everyday life.

People whose MCI affects both memory and other types of cognition are said to have multi-domain MCI. Amnestic MCI is the most common subtype.

MCI is highly variable in terms of its severity and trajectory—it may worsen, stay the same or even go away, depending on what’s causing it. Temporary MCI can be brought on by sleep apnea, depression or medications. Risk factors for other kinds of MCI include genetics, stroke, head injury, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, and hearing loss. It’s important not to think of these risk factors as “causes” of MCI—instead, each has been associated with the condition.

What is Dementia?

Many people confuse mild cognitive impairment (MCI) with dementia. While MCI can in fact be a precursor to the early stages of dementia, dementia is a separate brain disorder. The symptoms of dementia are so severe as to render the patient dependent on others to carry out the tasks of everyday living. But exactly what is dementia?

Although memory loss is one of the most common signs of dementia, the disorder often entails other forms of cognitive decline, including a drop-off in the ability to think abstractly, to make reasonable judgments, to speak and understand, and to relate spatially to the environment. Perhaps just as alarming, dementia patients often undergo significant changes to their personalities, becoming agitated and sometimes experiencing delusions.

There are several types of dementia.

Most people know or have heard of someone with Alzheimer’s disease, a type of dementia marked by short-term memory loss so severe that patients often ask the same question minutes apart, forgetting that they have already received an answer. Alzheimer’s patients also frequently experience severe personality changes. People with Alzheimer’s disease have excessive amyloid plaque and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. But whether these changes are the actual cause continues to be explored. That’s because many older people have similar brain changes but never develop dementia.

Vascular dementia is caused by an interruption of the blood flow to the brain. This can happen after a stroke, brain bleed or head trauma, But more often the cause is reduced blood flow from narrowing of multiple small arteries that feed oxygen and nutrients to the brain. The symptoms are similar to people with Alzheimer’s disease, but it also depends on which parts of the brain are most affected.

Dementia with Lewy bodies arises from an accumulation of harmful proteins in the brain cells causing progressive problems with cognition, memory and movement.

Although Parkinson’s disease is usually thought of as a movement disorder, some people develop symptoms similar to other types of dementia, such as problems with executive function, information retrieval and attention.

Frontotemporal dementia occurs when neurons in the brain’s frontal lobe or temporal lobe die off, leaving the patient to experience personality changes so stark as to be frequently misdiagnosed as psychiatric problems.

The symptoms of primary age-related tauopathy, or PART, can appear similar to those of Alzheimer’s disease. But the symptoms of PART are mostly limited to memory loss and not the other cognitive-behavioral problems usually associated with Alzheimer’s.

People with more than one of these memory loss diseases are said to have mixed dementia.

What is the Difference between Dementia and Alzheimer's?

Dementia is the generic term for cognitive and memory decline sufficiently severe that the patient requires assistance with everyday functioning. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, with nearly 5 million Americans affected, but it is by no means the only cause.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, meaning that it worsens over time, sometimes in as little as four years. During the early stages, the patient experiences memory loss but is still able to live independently. In mid-stage Alzheimer’s, the patient may begin to neglect their personal care and to forget significant information. By the late stages of the illness, people require help with even the most basic aspects of daily living, and normal conversation becomes impossible.

What happens to the brain to cause Alzheimer’s? Two substances play a likely role. Both are naturally occurring proteins. Beta-amyloid accumulates in the brain until it forms plaques in the gaps between nerve cells that are conduits for signals that travel through the brain. The other key protein, called tau, also accumulates over time and forms tangles inside the brain cells. The two proteins together kill cells in areas of the brain necessary for memory, personality and other cognitive abilities.

How to Improve Memory and Concentration?

The good news is that, although with age you should expect to experience some forgetfulness, there is plenty you can do to minimize memory loss and even improve and enhance your memory as you get older.

Among the best ways to improve memory are the same lifestyle changes that reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. For example, quit smoking, drink alcohol in moderation or avoid drinking completely, and limit intake of sugary and processed foods.

But when it comes to how to improve memory, eliminating factors is just part of the puzzle—the other piece is adding in new habits. For example, eating foods that help memory, such as leafy green vegetables, nuts, berries, tea, coffee and oily fish, is a great way to promote your overall health while strengthening your brain.

Regular exercise boosts the growth of brain cells and the production of neurotransmitters, enhancing memory. A mix of aerobic (cardio) and strength exercises is best.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, you might be harming your cognition and memory. Aim for seven to nine hours each night.

Meditation, stress reduction and keeping up a good network of social relationships have all been shown to stave off the effects of aging on the brain.

One key to keeping your mind young is to keep it busy and challenged through lifelong learning and stimulation. Traveling, learning new languages, picking up a musical instrument, taking art or cooking classes, doing puzzles, playing board games—all these things promote the growth of new brain cells and help the brain forge new pathways.
Memory enhancement can also come from properly managing your physical and mental health.

If you know or suspect that you suffer from depression, get it treated.

Since many medications can cause brain fog and bouts of forgetfulness, you should review your prescriptions with your doctor and see if dosages can be changed or eliminated. Especially consider drugs with anti-cholinergic properties, such as the older antihistamines (e.g. diphenhydramine, Benadryl), some older antidepressants (e.g. amitriptyline, Elavil), and drugs for urinary symptoms (e.g. oxybutynin, Ditropan).  

Checking your hearing, vision, blood pressure and blood levels of thyroid function and cholesterol may find abnormalities which could easily be addressed and result in improved memory.

Brain experts have developed many tips for improving memory as you attempt to remember such things as names, to-do lists, facts or other information. For example, associating new information with things you already know can help you retain it—like remembering that you’re in parking spot 42 because your son is 42 years old. With another technique, called chunking, you break up a list into categories—if you were memorizing all the countries of Europe, grouping the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) lets you see them as one group. Using a more advanced technique, called loci, you “visit” a familiar location in your mind, mentally placing the items you want to memorize at various places along the path.

Certain habitual behaviors will help you remember the information that gets you through your day. One such habit is staying organized—if you always put your car keys on the counter, you won’t have to wonder where you left them. If you write down every appointment or put it into your smartphone, you won’t miss any. If you keep to-do lists, up-to-date address books, and lists of passwords, you won’t face the struggle of trying to recall information when it’s urgent. It’s also helpful to create certain mental habits, such as repeating a person’s name as soon as you’re introduced, paraphrasing parts of a conversation to reinforce the message, and becoming a more careful reader (and re-reader) to really drive home the content.

How to Avoid Memory Loss?

In study after study, physical activity has been associated not just with higher cognitive function but with a decreased risk of memory loss over time. The brains of people who exercise regularly shrink less with age than those of sedentary people (especially the hippocampus, a brain structure key to memory), and their white matter stays healthier. Exercising three or more times per week has been associated with a 40-50% lower risk of diagnosis with dementia.

In one study, adults at a high fitness level were 88% less likely than those of medium fitness to develop dementia, and high fitness appeared to delay the onset of dementia by 11 years. To reap the benefits of exercise, you must be consistent, so set aside a dedicated time for exercise and stick with it. Swimming, walking and tennis are great activities. Joining a gym and taking fitness classes works very well for some people, since socialization is known to boost brain health.

Another way to avoid memory loss is to be mindful of what you eat. While some specific foods are associated with brain health, food marketers sometimes exaggerate their benefits. That’s why it’s better to think in terms of broad patterns and styles of eating. One rule of thumb is to build your eating habits around foods that are good for your heart, since the same diet that is heart-healthy is also good for the brain. You may have heard of the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to promote heart health. It centers on plant-based foods, fish, nuts and olive oil. A variation of the Mediterranean diet, called the MIND diet (Mediterranean diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) was designed with the explicit goal of optimizing brain health. It’s heavy on leafy green vegetables, nuts, berries, fish and poultry, and avoids red meat, butter, cheese and sweets. In one study, MIND diet adherents were 30-35% less likely to score poorly on cognitive tests.

But what about memory supplements? Can’t you simply take an over-the-counter pill or capsule to get a memory boost? Unfortunately, marketers frequently make unproven claims about the benefits of these products. For example, ginkgo biloba is often touted as a wonder supplement for mental function, but numerous studies have found that it has no effect on memory, attention or risk of dementia. You do need certain vitamins for memory, but studies have not shown that taking more than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) has a beneficial effect. Still, B vitamins and vitamin D might merit special attention, since they’re particularly important for keeping dementia at bay. A blood test can tell you whether you’re vitamin B12-deficient, in which case a supplement is a good idea. You can get plenty of vitamin D through 10-15 minutes of sun exposure daily, but if that’s not possible, a supplement may be called for.

How to develop long-term memory - Psychology of effective life

You probably know that there are laws of memory that can be used in order to guarantee the recall of the necessary life experience at the most crucial moments of life. Today we will talk about these laws. In one of the previous articles, I already talked about why RAM is needed. And now we are talking about long-term memory and how to train it.

Do you think it is possible to memorize a whole book and reproduce it even years later? The answer is yes, you can. But for this you need to train long-term memory. Imagine that you remember the contents of the books you have read during your lifetime. Not only will you be able to put into practice what you read, but you will always tell something interesting at the right moment.

Consider the laws of memory

1. Law of understanding — it is important to read thoughtfully, comprehending what is written as deeply as possible. Systematize the information read and distribute it into semantic blocks.

Many people think that the analysis of what they read should be done after they have closed the book. But only the information that is comprehended during reading remains in long-term memory.

2. The law of interest — when a person reads what he is interested in, he remembers automatically. When reading an uninteresting text, a lot of resources are spent on maintaining willpower, and at the same time, the assimilation of information suffers.

In speed reading there is such an exercise - "Reading an uninteresting book", proposed by Oleg Andreev. The essence of the task is to learn to read something uninteresting, changing your attitude towards it.

At one time Oleg Andreev conducted an experiment with students. He suggested that philologists read the textbook of veterinarians, and veterinarians - the textbook of philologists. As a result, philologists, who had finished reading the textbook, were interested in the process of treating a cow, and veterinarians were able to find out the origin of the names of various diseases.

3. The law of the body of knowledge - if you are studying something complex, you must have a minimum professional vocabulary. The more professional terms and phrases you know, the easier it will be for you to read specialized literature and, accordingly, to understand and remember what you read.

Therefore, there is a rule: when you want to learn a new topic for yourself, familiarize yourself with it first in books for beginners, and then move on to the intermediate and professional level. If you try to immediately master the professional level, it will be very difficult for you to read and remember everything the first time, you will often be distracted, return to what you have already read, and your desire to learn will decrease.

4. The law of readiness for memorization:

— set to control;

- time setting.

There is a rule: our brain gets to work faster when this knowledge needs to be applied somewhere. Therefore, before reading, you need to set a goal: why are you studying this book.

For example, a control setting: tomorrow there will be a discussion of a book with someone, and it is important to read it well. Or set to time: you have a time limit, and you must have time to read everything before the deadline.

All this helps to increase concentration and work with information for as long as possible without getting tired.

5. The law of simultaneous impressions is a very important law. Everyone knows that remembering something is easier with the help of associations. Thus, when we are introduced to something new, we automatically have impressions.
The task is to superimpose these impressions on familiar associations. So new information is remembered and remembered faster.

6. The law of amplifying the initial impression - here we amplify the effect. We remember something by reinforcing first impressions. We do this consciously with the help of four senses: smell, hearing, sight, taste.

For example, a red rose with dewdrops on the petals. You can smell its fragrance, feel its velvet petals and moisture from the dew. The brighter the image, the more feelings and associations are superimposed, the more it is remembered.

This method is sometimes used to remember the names of people during acquaintance. When the name evokes associations (Nadezhda - like the wife of a brother), appearance (like a music teacher - short, thin), face (round, like Polina), voice (timbre of my mother). All this is collected in a single image, and you sign it with the name of a person - Nadezhda Nikitichna.

7. The law of inhibition is an important law of forgetting information. There are special technologies that allow you to erase unused information. There are people whose memory is so strong that it remembers many objects, objects, information in the smallest details. Its excess can cause headaches, insomnia. Therefore, information must be able not only to remember, but also to forget.

Ways to develop long-term memory

Remember that long-term memory needs to be trained:

1. Learn verses and review what you learned last week or a month ago.

2. Retell a movie, a book after watching or reading, in three days, a week, a month.

3. After reading the book, go through the table of contents carefully and try to remember what you read as accurately as possible, stopping at each chapter title. Then encode the whole book in one phrase and image.

Doing this every time you read a book will train you to do it automatically.

Methods for repeating information

To enhance the effect of remembering professional information for life, methods of repetition have been developed: for three days, a week, a month or six months.

We will consider a repetition that is usually used before the exam three days before the exam:

  • the first - immediately after reading;
  • second - 20 minutes after the first reading;
  • third - after 8 hours;
  • fourth - in a day (preferably before bedtime).

It is important to remember that on the day when you want to repeat the learned information, between repetitions you need to do anything, but not process new information - walk, relax, draw, play a musical instrument, etc. Otherwise, you will not be able to remember for a long time what you need.

To memorize professional information, you can take a vacation when you do not urgently need to study new volumes of information and there is time to relax and switch.

I wish you good luck in training and expanding your horizons!


The development of memory is the development of the brain. By training your long-term memory, you develop learning abilities. For more on how to train your cognitive abilities, see Dan Hurley's book Get Smarter. Brain Development in Practice” :

The development of long-term memory is indispensable in the study of a foreign language. It is difficult to imagine a person who speaks the language well, who now and then forgets the vocabulary necessary for communication. How to start learning a language at an elementary level, explains an English teacher and a language coach Tata Kononova :

The development of memory requires regular work and a responsible approach. But how often, having promised ourselves to start doing something useful on an ongoing basis, have we abandoned this undertaking after a month, or even a week? Psychologist Yaroslav Voznyuk explains how to learn to bring things to the end:

20 exercises that will improve your memory

Personal qualities and skills
Photo: Lucas Davies / Unsplash

Editorial. What is memory? What is she like? How to train her? Why do we forget even the most important facts, and do we need to remember everything? Gareth Moore answers these questions and more in his book The Memory Trainer: How to Improve Memory in 40 Days. We publish several fragments with practical exercises that will help you develop a variety of types of memory and improve it in a few weeks. The Russian translation of the book was published by Alpina Publisher.

No matter how bad you think your memory is, your long-term memory—the ability to remember something after a long time—is just as good for you as anyone else. It depends on how you use it, and if you don't use it consciously, you don't get the full benefit of your innate ability.

Until recently, many people could not write, so they had to keep everything in their memories: stories, family history, birthdays, age, and more. Today we have given these tasks to smartphones, diaries and the like, and are much less conscious about the use of memory.

Do the word exercise. First, try to remember them, and then, when you are ready, close and continue reading the task.













Short -term memory

In short -term memory you temporarily store information and quickly forget it, unless you transfer it to long -term memory. If, for example, someone gives you their email address and you forget it 20 seconds later, that's because it's only stored in your short-term memory.

Without short-term memory, you could not have read this sentence—by the time you got to the end, you would have forgotten everything you had read. It may seem that there is no benefit to forgetting, but if you didn't forget anything, then your brain would quickly become overloaded with useless information! Therefore, most short-term memories never make it into long-term memory.

Slowly look through these numbers, but don't make any conscious effort to memorize them, and then, after you get to the last number, try to quickly write them down in the same order without looking.

5 2 3 7

8 9 4 8

4 7 6 1

Now check how you did. How many numbers did you remember?

Try a similar emoticon exercise. Look at each of them in turn, without making any effort to memorize, then close the book and try to reproduce them on a piece of paper.

:) :( :=) :I :o

:< ;P ;( :P

You probably managed to remember five to seven digits. But did you manage to remember that many emoticons?

The number of digits you memorize gives you some idea of ​​the size of your short term memory, you can learn to use it more effectively, which will actually increase the amount of information you will remember quickly, but you cannot increase the original, basic number of elements, that you are able to remember.This is the difference between long-term memories, which last much longer than 30 seconds and for which we seem to have virtually unlimited memory capacities.0003

You most likely thought of each number as a separate element, but the emoticons were more complicated, since you must have considered one of them as "sticking out tongue plus winking left eye." It took up two "slots" in your short-term memory, making it difficult to remember as many emojis as numbers. Combining multiple thoughts into a single memory element is a key memory technique that we will explore throughout the book.


Apparently, we have different short-term memories for different senses - so you can quickly remember something you smelled and something you saw, as well as some facts at the same time. All this will soon disappear from short-term memory. Unfortunately, if you now try to look at the emoticons and numbers from the previous page at the same time, you will find that it will not work, because most likely it will come down to the fact that you will mentally describe them in words to yourself.

Go through these numbers just as slowly, again making no conscious effort to memorize them, but this time group them. For example, try reading the first digits as "15" instead of "1" and "5". Now let's see how many of them you can write down - without peeking.

1 5 4 2

7 3 6 70002 Now look how you did. Did you manage to remember more numbers - at least one? Don't worry if you haven't, as this technique takes practice, and it's also possible that no matter how hard you try, you just can't fit multi-digit numbers like 42 in one "slot".


We use short-term memory to hold thoughts, and therefore it is a key element for engaging in a conversation, coming up with an argument, or thinking about what to do next. However, all but the most recent memories need to be transferred from short-term memory to long-term memory, and this is where we will mainly focus our efforts.


Anything you want to remember for more than a minute needs to be converted into long-term memory. Such memories are stored through changes in your brain.

If we couldn't remember what we did yesterday or a few minutes ago, we wouldn't be able to lead a normal life. Our memories make us who we are, and without them we would be an empty shell. Some long-term memories accumulate naturally throughout life without deliberate effort, while the acquisition of other memories - like a list of some facts - usually requires much more effort.


We remember all sorts of things. We remember where we were, what we ate, who we met this morning, yesterday, and maybe even last week. The more unusual the event, the more likely we are to remember it.

We remember smells; we remember what we saw; we can even remember touches. In addition, we remember emotions and how we felt at significant moments in life.

Memories are stored in the brain through chemical processes, and longer-term memories also require physical changes and capture the footage of our lives. They exist in relation to each other; thus, a memory of a rose can trigger a memory of a smell, a color, or a place, and then a person, an event, and so on. The more connections one memory has with others, the easier it is to evoke. That is why old memories can suddenly flood over us when they are triggered by another thought or experience.

Most memories fade over time, unless we go back and strengthen them or the memories associated with them. For this reason, at some point we can forget almost all the material of a school subject, about which we once knew a lot, if we do not continue to use it in later life.

Over time, memories can also change, and real memories of events are mixed with false memories that we were inspired by what we saw or heard later. Our memories are much more error-prone than we think.

Long-term memory is not limited to memorizing facts, but it can be useful to be able to specifically remember information that we would like to remember later. Try the exercises in this spread to test the original ability of your long-term memory.

Study the list of Booker Prize winners, then close it and see how many books you can write below where only the names of the authors are listed.

1980 “Swimming rituals”, William Golding

1981: “Midnight Children”, Salman Rushdi

1982: “Schindler List”, Thomas Kenilli

1983: “Life and Time of Michael K” , J.M. Coetsee

1984: Hotel by the Lake Anita Bruckner

Fill in the blanks now:

1980: xxxxxxxxxxxx, William Golding

1981: XXXXXX XXXXXX, Salman Rushdi

1982: XXXXXxxxx, Thomas Kenilli 9000 1983: XXXXXX, 1 1983: xxxxxxx.

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