Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Improved Memory


The Creativity Empowerment Celebration for the launch of UPositive Creativity and Life Coaching on Friday was great fun! In spite of the Nashville gas crisis, which did keep a few people away. The rest of us shared good conversation, and funny and inspiring right brain/left brain skit, delicious food and drink (and scrumptious quadruple-chocolate brownies!), and won lots of door prizes!

I'm working on a membership program for UPositive. I'll post the details here as soon as I have them, so my blog-readers can have the first chance to participate. There's going to be a lot of value in membership, I can promise you that!

Improving Memory

Back in April, Gary Marcus wrote a short article for the New York Times Magazine entitled “Total Recall.” He described the difference between how a computer accesses its memory and how humans (and other animals) access memory. The computer, of course, is better at it. By the end of the article, he suggested that there might eventually be a “neural prosthetic” (implant) that would stimulate our memory pathways.

No thanks.

I’d like to stick with the human brain remaining human; I’m not interested in becoming even part cyborg, thank you.

But there was some interesting information in the article. For instance, there are studies showing that environment, body posture, secondary senses, all increase memory. If you learn a word while stooping, you will better remember it while stooping. It’s been known for a while that visiting the room where a test will be given beforehand, and keeping the image of that room in your mind while you study increases your score on the test.

I’d like to propose a different solution to improving memory than adding a computer chip to our gray matter. I’m going to try this myself, do an informal study. Here’s my theory:

Choose a different posture for different kinds of information input.
Keep a written list (so you don’t have to remember it on your own).
Practice, practice, practice. (repetition increases synaptic firing: think of a deer creating a path to the stream---it gets easier with each trip)
Reward any success. (behavioral modification technique).

Here are some suggestions (I want to make these so they’re not too obvious or distracting to others):
1. Rub the top of my ear as I learn someone’s name.
2. Put thumb to middle finger as hear people talk about computers.
3. Lace right and left fingers together for writing suggestions.

Do you have any experience with improving your memory in a similar manner? Did it work?

If you decide to try it, let me know what happens, please!