Memory Games for Adults to Play

Today I found a site that has memory games for adults to play online. I tried one of the matching games in which you have to remember the location of colored circles in order to match them up. The game starts off easy and allows you to build up your confidence, and then it really works your memory as each round becomes progressively more challenging.

Memory Games for Adults to Play

Give your memory a workout. Go to this link and try the Memory Circles Brain Game.

Regular visits to a sites like this one in order to access memory games for adults to play will give you lots of mental exercise. If you enjoyed these games and think your friends will too, click the share button below.

matching circles is just one of many memory games for adults to play

matching circles is just one of many memory games for adults to play

Why not challenge others to a little friendly competition?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Napping Improves Memory

It would be wonderful if here in North America we could adopt the practice every day of taking time off for an afternoon siesta, as is common in a number of places around the world. Why? Well, it turns out that along with other health benefits, napping improves memory.

While we’re napping, the brain is hard at work problem-solving, sorting and filing, and making connections. Here is an interesting article.

Napping Improves Memory

Napping Improves Memory

Napping Improves Memory

Several recent studies strengthen the connection between sleep and learning.

Reactivate and reorganize. A 2010 Harvard study suggested that dreaming may reactivate and reorganize recently learned material, which would help improve memory and boost performance. In the study, volunteers learned to navigate a complex maze. During a break, some were allowed to nap for 90 minutes, others weren’t. When the volunteers tackled the maze again, only the few who dreamed about it during their naps did better.

Shorter naps. In another Harvard study, college student volunteers memorized pairs of unrelated words, worked on a maze puzzle, and copied an intricate figure. All were tested on their work, and half were allowed to nap for 45 minutes. During a retest, napping boosted the performance of volunteers who initially did well on the test, but didn’t help those who scored poorly the first time around.

Micro naps. For many people, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to find 45 minutes to nap. In a German study, a six-minute snooze helped volunteers recall a list of 30 words they had memorized earlier.

Read the entire article here.

So it appears that the length of the nap doesn’t really matter. Even short napping improves memory. No wonder it’s often referred to as a power nap! Give it a try.

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Will Playing a Musical Instrument Enhance Memory?

Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here!

J.K.Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 1997

I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love music. Listening to it brings a lot of happiness to people — and a host of other advantages. For the purposes of this blog, let’s go beyond listening to playing and let’s consider this question, “Will playing a musical instrument enhance memory?” Here is an excerpt from an article on the benefits of playing a musical instrument.

Will Playing a Musical Instrument Enhance Memory?

1.  Increases the capacity of your memory.
Research has shown that both listening to music and playing a musical instrument stimulate your brain and can increase your memory.  A study was done in which 22 children from age 3 to 4 and a half years old were given either singing lessons or keyboard lessons.  A control group of 15 children received no music lessons at all. Both groups participated in the same preschool activities.  The results showed that preschoolers who had weekly keyboard lessons improved their spatial-temporal skills 34 percent more than the other children.  Not only that, but researchers said that the effect lasted long-term.  (Source:  http://brainconnection.positscience.com/topics/?main=fa/music-education2#A1)

According to an article from The Telegraph online magazine, “New research suggests that regularly playing an instrument changes the shape and power of the brain and may be used in therapy to improve cognitive skills.”  There is continually more evidence that musicians have organizationally and functionally different brains compared to non-musicians, especially in the areas of the brain used in processing and playing music.  If you learn how to play an instrument, the parts of your brain that control motor skills (ex: using your hands, running, swimming, balancing, etc.), hearing, storing audio information, and memory actually grow and become more active.  Other results show that playing an instrument can help your IQ increase by seven points.   (Source:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/6447588/Playing-a-musical-instrument-makes-you-brainier.html)

Read about other benefits here.

Will playing a musical instrument enhance memory?

Will playing a musical instrument enhance memory?

It appears that learning to play a musical instrument is advantageous not only to children but to every age group. Many of the benefits described in the article such as concentration, focus, coordination, listening skills, and stress relief work hand-in-hand with improving memory.

Will playing a musical instrument enhance memory? Tell us what your experience has been.

 

Reliable Memory Technique for Mastering the Periodic Table

Any chemistry student would be happy to have a reliable memory technique for mastering the periodic table. It doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Wouldn’t you be thrilled to learn the periodic table in one afternoon? It can and has been done. Ed Cooke, a Grandmaster of Memory, used the method of loci (also known as the memory palace or journey method) to teach the table to [Read more...]

Memory Techniques for a Smarter Brain

Here at Improving Your Memory Techniques, we’re always looking for information that is new and different when it comes to helping improve your memory and your brain power. I found some new memory techniques for a smarter brain that I thought were pretty cool and help stretch the capacity of your mind. I also took a shine to the new expression being used for a brain workout –  “neurobics” (very clever combination of neurology and aerobics).

Memory Techniques for a Smarter Brain

memory techniques for a smarter brain

try these memory techniques for a smarter brain

Here is an excerpt.

* Every Fifth Word.  Take a random paragraph out of the newspaper, a magazine, or from a blog.  Then make a list containing every fifth word in the paragraph.  Use that set of words to form a sentence— smart, silly, startling. Dr. Green points out that many experts believe by staying intellectually vigorous, and giving the neurons in your brain a good workout, there is a possibility to acquire  “cognitive reserve,” –a kind of extra neuron density in the brain. Should you be faced with Alzheimer’s or dementia in later life that reserve could well help to minimize or at least moderate the damage.

* Do what Bill Gates and former President Clinton do. That is, get a pad of paper and doodle. A study found subjects assigned a doodling task not only did better when quizzed on what they were monitoring on a phone call, but recalled 29% better than their non-doodling counterparts on a surprise memory test.

I, too, find that doodling as well as some note taking really help me focus on a phone conversation and remember more of what is being said.

More Memory Techniques for a Smarter Brain

* Take a (quick) trip back to the fifth grade. Remember all the straight memorization that happened in class back then? That discipline fades away for most of us as life moves on. Yet it’s another very important way to keep the memory muscles flexing.  Memorize a poem every week or so.  Not only will poetry boost your memory strength, it will give you something soothing to repeat in traffic jams, exasperatingly long grocery store lines, and while waiting for friends who never show up on time.  Remember that stress too undermines memory!

CONNECT THE DOTS

Go to Poets.org and sign up for a new poem each day.   Or try one of the A-Word-A-Day websites that allow you to stretch your vocabulary. The important thing is to make flexible thinking a routine part of your life.

Here’s the entire article.

I particularly liked ideas in the Connect the Dots section. I’m going to try out these memory techniques for a smarter brain. How about you?

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Never Forget Names Again

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you had a few reliable memory techniques to fall back on so that you never forget names again?

I found a lengthy article by Luciano Passuello that will give you lots of useful strategies. You may have read about some of these memory tips before, but [Read more...]

Memory Techniques for Recalling History and Geography Facts

Students in a high school in Hamilton, Canada actually have fun learning memory techniques for recalling history and geography facts. Teacher John Cope has written a long list of songs that he uses to teach these two subjects.   The songs cover topics such as:

memory techniques for recalling history and geography facts can be great fun

memory techniques for recalling history and geography facts can be great fun

- provinces and territories of Canada

- Canada / U.S. relations

- causes of World World l and World War ll

- The Great Depression

and more…

Memory Techniques for Recalling History and Geography Facts

If you’d like to listen to some of these fantastically creative songs, you can check them out here. There is also a link on that page to an interview with teacher John Cope and some of his students.

As I have mentioned in other blog posts on this site, I am particularly fond of learning through song. Rhythm and rhyme together create a momentum that seems to automatically carry you forward through the content of the song. How many times have you started singing a a song, thinking you didn’t remember all the words, but as you sang it, the words just seemed to magically pop into your head and out of your mouth?

I enjoyed geography in high school, but history and fun were never two words I would have put together in the same sentence. I know I would have done a lot better in it if I had had teachers who had looked for innovative ways for us to have fun with memory techniques for recalling history and geography facts.

What has been your experience with memory techniques for learning history and geography? Share them with us in the comment section.

Is It My Parents’ Fault If I’m Losing My Memory?

Is it my parents’ fault if I’m losing my memory? It may be. Research shows that there is a genetic link between your genes, the shrinkage of a key brain area called the hippocampus, and your vulnerability to memory loss.

Is it my parents' fault if I'm losing my memory?

Is it my parents' fault if I'm losing my memory?

Is It My Parents’ Fault If I’m Losing My Memory?

The results of the research are described in ScienceDaily, but here are the key findings.

The first study, based on a genetic analysis of more than 9,000 people, has found that certain versions of four genes may speed shrinkage of a brain region involved in making new memories. The brain area, known as the hippocampus, normally shrinks with age, but if the process speeds up, it could increase vulnerability to Alzheimer’s disease, the research suggests.

Apparently bigger is better where it concerns the hippocampus.

The gene variants identified in the first study do not cause Alzheimer’s, but they may rob the hippocampus of a kind of “reserve” against the disease, which is known to cause cell destruction and dramatic shrinkage of this key brain site. The result is severe loss of memory and cognitive ability.

Scientists calculated that hippocampus shrinkage in people with these gene variants accelerates by about four years on average. The risk of Alzheimer’s doubles every five years beginning at age 65, so a person of that age would face almost twice the Alzheimer’s risk if he or she had these versions of the gene.

Looked at another way, if a person with one of these variants did get Alzheimer’s, the disease would attack an already compromised hippocampus and so would lead to a more severe condition at a younger age than otherwise, the research suggests.

“This is definitely a case of ‘bigger is better,’” said DeCarli. “We already know that Alzheimer’s disease causes much of its damage by shrinking hippocampus volume. If someone loses a greater-than-average amount of volume due to the gene variants we’ve identified, the hippocampus is more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s.”

Why the aging hippocampus normally decreases in volume is unclear.

If you’re up to reading a rather scientific article, you can do so here.

Many of us worry about the possibility of future memory loss, especially when we look at our family members. Is it my parents’ fault if I’m losing my memory? It could very well be.

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How Will Pulling an All-Nighter Affect My Exam Results?

You’re behind in your studying and you’re short on days before the final exam. You can’t possibly cover all the material in time. Something has to give.  As you consider giving up sleep before the exam, you wonder, “How will pulling an all-nighter affect my exam results?” Apparently, quite badly.

How Will Pulling an All-Nighter Affect My Exam Results?

Unfortunately, that may be one of the worst ways to prepare, according to UT professor Russell Poldrack, who studies memory, learning and how we acquire new skills.

“Getting a good night’s sleep is probably the most important thing,” he said. “It’s a really important way that memories get transformed in the brain.”

In other words, walk into a test feeling like a zombie, and you’ll likely perform like one.

There are better techniques you can use to positively impact your memory, and as a result, your exam results.

A better way to prepare for the final is to continually test yourself.

How will pulling an all-nighter affect my exam results?

How will pulling an all-nighter affect my exam results?

“The act of retrieving something from memory is actually one of the most powerful ways to get it to stick in memory,” Poldrack said.

Additionally, Poldrack suggests that your surroundings can make a huge difference as to how well you can recall information. A classic study performed by D.R. Godden and A.D. Baddeley of the University of Stirling placed subjects either on land or in SCUBA suits underwater and asked them to learn a list of words. When tested, the ones who learned the words on land performed better on land and those who learned them underwater performed better underwater. As such, it may be more effective to study in a library or classroom setting that’s similar to where you’ll be tested rather than curled up in bed.

Read the entire article here.

Now you have the answer to your question, “How will pulling an all-nighter affect my exam results?” So the  next time you’re preparing for an exam, plan ahead, use the suggestions in this article, and don’t figure if all else fails you can always stay up all night. Not a good idea.

What effects have you noticed on your memory and exam results when you’ve stayed up all night? Tell us in the comment section.

 

Is Multi-Tasking Bad for Your Memory?

I’m not good at multi-tasking –  unless it involves folding laundry and watching television at the same time. If I’m doing anything more complicated than that, the results aren’t good. We know it effects focus, but is multi-tasking bad for your memory too? According to research studies, multi-tasking causes poor short term memory.

 Is Multi-Tasking Bad for Your Memory?

Here’s what happens when you try to multi-task.

Is multi-tasking bad for your memory?

Is multi-tasking bad for your memory?

Professor Russell Poldrack, a psychologist at the University of California, conducted brain scan research which found that doing something else while trying to learn, such as watching TV while doing homework, sends information to an inappropriate part of the brain. Instead of sending information to the hippocampus as it is supposed to, an area of the brain involved in storing and recalling information, the information is sent to the striatum, a region involved in learning new skills from where it is difficult to retrieve ideas and facts.

Here are some suggested coping strategies as well.

1. Focus on non-verbal cues when conversing with others

2. Try to be more aware of what you are thinking

3. Practice multi-tasking with simple tasks

4. Reduce multi-tasking in the afternoon after lunch when it’s more likely to cause overload

5. Meditate – brain scans of non-religious Westerners who meditate have shown increased development in the brain areas associated with attention and memory.

Here is the entire blog post.

I guess it’s a good thing after all that I’m not efficient at multi-tasking. I’ll just keep focusing on doing one thing at a time. After all, I don’t want the information to end up in the wrong place. What if it ends up in my toes?

What have you noticed about multi-tasking and your ability to remember things later? Share your comments.