SCIENCE

Anyone can practice to have super memory

Improving the ability to remember facts, face is the process involved in “training” your brain.

In 5 minutes, Boris Konrad can memorize more than 100 dates and any event. After 30 seconds, he can read the entire deck order. At the 2009 German Memory Championship, Konrad memorized 195 names and faces in 15 minutes, helping him win the gold medal.

Answering a question about feeling born with a brain that quickly remembers, Konrad simply said he didn’t know. In fact, Konrad’s talent was acquired through practice, not from birth.

Into “super memory” through training

“I was born with a normal memory and kept training,” Konrad shares the prize earned in memory competitions as a result of years of practice, learning techniques like “memory castle” ( Memory Palace). According to Konrad, anyone can apply these techniques to brain training.

Together with Konrad, cognitive neuroscientist Martin Dresler from Radboud University Medical Center (Netherlands) has studied more deeply the brain effects of memory techniques.

23 study participants spent 30 minutes a day, for 40 consecutive days, more than doubling their ability to memorize a list. For example, someone who remembers only 26 words on average in a list can memorize 62 words after practice.

After 4 months of finishing the practice, the researchers invited the group to join again, finding that the ability to memorize was still very high even though there was no longer practice. As such, this is not a short term ability and does not require maintenance training.

The Dresler’s team also found common ground after surveying 35 of the memory champions.

“They say their memory is pretty normal before learning the memory methods and exercise … The Loci method is one of the most important memory improvement techniques,” says Dresler.

Methods of practicing memory

The Loci method, sometimes called the “castle of memory,” is a systematic memory technique dating back to ancient Greece, still prevalent in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Teachers often apply it to remember the main idea during long lectures.

With this method, the memo draws a map of anything in mind, be it a familiar house or street, and then attaches multi-sensory, memorable images to each area to find them again.

In order to memorize a series of unrelated events, Konrad would map the human body, from foot to head. He then “put” two words on each position to memorize them.

For example, placing the words on the feet “moss” and “cow”, Konrad would imagine walking in a mossy field, covered with moss, watching a smelly cow graze on the moss. The next position is the knee containing the word “queen and bell”, Konrad will think of the image of walking out of the moss and sitting beside a tree. Then the Queen of England appeared and sat on Konrad’s knee, took a bell from her pocket and vibrated it loudly.

The above may seem silly, but Konrad insists they are easy to remember. This method utilizes memory’s ability to store locations in space and make connections.

“Memory doesn’t get better on its own”

In the above study, the scientists also photographed the brain to track changes during exercise. Initially, the structures of the brains were the same. However, when divided into 3 groups of people to practice memory, they changed.

The first group didn’t practice at all, of course there was no change. The second group practices the same method of the Concentration game, finding and remembering the positions of the same cards on the table. Before practicing, they can memorize an average of 26-30 words. After 40 days, the number increases by about 11 words.

The third group applied the Loci method for the highest efficiency. Using Memocamp, they doubled their memorization in 40 days. Magnetic resonance imaging detects blood flow and brain activity for about 2,500 different links, including 25 related to memory skills. The post-training photo showed that the bonds had rearranged themselves to resemble those of the memory champions, but not the others.

Neuroscientist Lars Nyberg from Umea University (Sweden), who did not participate in the study, said that the above results have contributed to unraveling the secret behind the memory talent that the “super memories” possess.

“Research shows that exercise can shape the brain in a similar way, reinforcing the mind

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