By allowing us to quickly retrieve a memory or past experience, memory is the key to efficiency in our daily lives. No need to consider electrodes implanted in the skull to improve our faculties: simple tricks have scientifically shown their validity.

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Memory door several dimensions : working memory (short term), semantic or episodic memory, procedural memory or perceptual memory (related to the senses). All these memories are interconnected by complex neural interactions. Scientific studies have shown that several factors influence our ability to memorize or restore memories.

Revise intelligently

It is not by reading a text only once, even attentively, that one will best retain its content. The best way to remember something is to memorize it several times in different forms (for example by doing a “miniquiz” on an assignment, by making summary sheets or diagrams, etc.). These “round trips” between short and long-term memory will allow the brain to encode information more efficiently.

Boost your memory by exercising

Several epidemiological studies have shown a clear correlation between physical activity and memorization. It is generally believed that the hormones produced during sport, such as norepinephrine, plays a role in the process of attention. For more efficiency, however, you have to wait a few hours after learning to put on your sneakers.

Space out your review sequences

It is better to spread out your learning sequences over time rather than accumulating them at the last moment. Emilie Gerbier, senior lecturer at the University of Sophia-Antipolis and specialist in learning, thus advises gradually spacing out his revision sessions to booster memory according to the following pattern: the same evening, the next day, four days later and then seven days later.

Learn his lessons in the evening

the sleep allows consolidate memory : during sleep, the neurons establish new connections between them and fix the memories. A study by the Laboratory for the Study of Cognitive Mechanisms (EMC) in Lyon has shown that students who revise their lessons in the evening retain on average 40% more information than the others. However, this mechanism is more effective in young people than in old people.

To chew gum

According to a study published in 2011, chewing gum during the learning process would then lead to better scores on a test. But another study from Cardiff University contradicted this claim, explaining that distracting the muscle process has a negative effect on memorization. In reality, the two are not completely opposite: chewing gum would disturb short-term memory but allow you to concentrate on complex tasks and fight against stress.

Create journeys and stories

Favorite technique of stars of memory champions, such as Sébastien Martinez, the 2015 French champion, the “memory palace” technique, where each piece of information is assigned a known storage location (for example, the cabinet of his room), allows you to find memories by retracing a route through the house. You can also link the information to remember to fun concepts or well-known characters and then create a story with it.

Escape the routine

Spending your days filling in sudoku puzzles may make you a world sudoku champion, but it won’t improve your cognitive abilities. The brain feeds on new experiences to produce connections between neurons. For example, you can take a different route to work or vary the preparation of your breakfasts.

To design

According to one canadian study released in 2018, individuals have an easier time remembering words that have been drawn rather than written. The researchers explain that drawing involves multiple forms of memory (spatial, visual, verbal, motor, etc.) and thus allows more areas of the brain to be activated in storage. This would be even more valid for the elderly than for the youngest.

To drink coffee

According to a 2014 study from Johns-Hopkins University in Baltimore, caffeine improves memory on a duration at least 24 hours, in particular to retain and distinguish details in images. It would also have a protective effect against cognitive decline especially Alzheimer’s disease. Another study from 2016 confirmed these results by explaining that caffeine blocks the stress hormones responsible for cognitive decline.

Recount his day

Practice each evening to reconstruct the thread of our day: what you did, who you met, what you said, etc. This simple exercise fixes the information and allows you to build recovery paths which can then be used to restore another notion that you have acquired. Hence the importance of paying attention to detail in your everyday life.

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