Our memory is quite an unreliable storehouse of data, its contents may change and be affected by new information. Some of the events linger in our memory for a long time, others fade very fast. On the other hand, if we have remembered everything, then finally, our brains would fail to discern the primary from the secondary and their activity would be completely paralyzed. That is why our memory is not only the ability to remember but also to forget. Scientists distinguish three types of memory: spontaneous, short term and long-term. Spontaneous memory (direct memory) keeps the information for about 1/4 seconds, and if its signals do not attract the highest parts of the brain, the information is erased and direct memory is filled with new signals. Short-term memory lasts for 20 seconds. If the data is not introduced once again, it vanishes with no noticeable trace. The research showed that short-term memory considerably improves at the age of 5 – 11. Then up to 30, it remains on the same level. Later from 30 to 70, it can either progress or degenerate. Strong emotions also influence memory characteristics. Sometimes we memorize some events because of their emotional significance to us, even if they don’t occur anymore.
We always remember those things we want to learn than those which are of no interest to us. The more material is connected with other factors in various contexts and from different points of view, the better we memorize it. There are no tricks for developing a sound memory. The best way to improve it is to learn how to arrange the information efficiently at the moment of memorization. Sometimes you can’t recollect some lists of words or figures or detailed content of the research essay you wrote a week ago. People have always tried to find ways to memorize as much information as possible. For this purpose, several mnemotechnic methods were designed, from simple limericks to complicated methods. It will be easy for you to remember a phone number or a bank account if you group the figures in larger blocks. The same refers to the list of essential purchases. If you go shopping not to forget anything divide the items you want to buy into fruit, vegetables, meat, or food necessary for breakfast, dinner, or supper. The rhyme and rhythm method is the basis of the rhymes. Advertising also extensively takes advantage of it for better consolidation of an advertising image in a people’s consciousness: “Don’t be afraid. Ask for Raid”. “You’ll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Colgate.” “Our custom research papers are the best; we differ from the rest”. The acronym method is also very widespread. It consists in making abbreviated forms from the first letters of the words ( NATO, USA). The chain method is more complicated. Your aim is to associate the elements of some list with the help of mental images that reflect the connections imagined for each pair of links. So, you have to memorize a shopping list: coffee, butter, ham, eggs, chicken, and cabbage. What image occurs to you first? Let it be a chicken pecking coffee grains, this chicken hatches out of the egg. The egg is in the cabbage and the leaves of the cabbage are bread, butter, and ham sandwiches. Keeping this complicated surreal image you can fearlessly start off at the shop – you are sure to remember everything you wanted to buy.
Ancient Roman and Greek public speakers used special mnemotechnic methods. They recollected all the objects located on the way they walked along daily. Then they “tied” either a thesis or an argument of their speech to each of these objects. The pair association method uses both rhymes and mental images. You should find rhymes for 10 (20) figures and some words: four-door, five-knife, eight-plate. This method is widely applied in foreign language teaching for memorizing new words. You can also try to “tie “the impersonal figures to some significant date for you. If you have to learn a poem by heart, do it to music. In case all the efforts for creating such mnemotechnic schemes will seem too excessive in comparison with the results you get, mind the game is still worth the candle. Requiring constant mobilization of your imagination will develop your creative capabilities.