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Two Great Ways to Improve Your Memory

Improve Memory

Derren Brown has a photographic memory “derren.brown” (CC BY 2.0) by hahatango

People have an average attention span of 20 minutes and can store 7 things in their short-term memory for 20 seconds. That doesn’t sound like much, but there are ways to sharpen one’s ability to remember things.

First it’s a good idea to understand why better memory function is a good thing. To people who haven’t trained their brains to improve recall, there are plenty of disadvantages. Poor memory can have disastrous consequences, and 75% of wrongful convictions are down to unreliable visual memory. In day-to-day life inattentive people may do anything from missing appointments, to forgetting to turn off electrical appliances when leaving the house. Those with good memories can not only function well in their jobs, they can also endear themselves to people by instantly recalling names and personal details.

Anyone can enhance their memory function with simple techniques that are actually pretty fun to do. One way is through playing card games. According to this article published on 888casino, bridge (see video above) is the best card game to improve short-term memory. This is because players are required to use visualization, memory, and sequencing. For those that are unfamiliar with bridge, poker may be a more fashionable option.

Skilled poker players must memorize their opponents’ style of play as quickly as possible if they want to overcome them. For example, if you can remember that one player made low bets when they had good cards, but higher bets when they were trying to bluff, you will know when it is safe to raise against them and when it is not.

Derren Brown, the famous hypnotist and illusionist, relies on memory techniques for a lot of his performances. He has frequently shown the ability to recall specific numbers, lines from books, and details about audience members at his live shows. He even gets kicked out of casinos across the UK for using his skills to win at blackjack.

The mentalist has worked for years on enhancing his own abilities, but professes that it is possible for anyone to tweak their memory so that it is working on a higher level. The above video outlines one of his systems for being able to recall massive lists. For anyone sitting an exam in the near future, take note.

Brown says that to remember lists of words, you have to create a vivid image for each one that evokes emotions. It could be funny, entertaining, or repulsive. These images then need to link to the next word on the list. In his example, Brown links the words “telephone” and “sausage” by imagining “dialing an old-fashioned phone using a flaccid, uncooked sausage”. This theory is fun and easy to get the hang of. It can then be applied to things in everyday life, such as shopping in the supermarket.

These two ideas are a great place to start, but there are other ways to get your memory working on a higher level. Eating nutritious food, getting a good night’s sleep, and regular exercise all help to improve brain function and memory.

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