Not just a memory technique, repeating and reinforcing information you want to retain in long-term memory is a necessity. Practice, practice, practice is the best way to solidify data you need to keep in your memory and retrieve when needed.
As a child we reviewed our lessons and spelling words over and over again until we got them right. Learning to tie your shoe was a hard trick to master, but when you kept doing it over and over again you learned how. When we learned how to ride a bicycle it was hard to remember to push with one leg while the other was waiting for the pedal to come back up. That practice has been ingrained in our memory, and even as adults we revert back to the same skills and practices we learned as children. The more you go over what you want to remember, like your speech or lesson, the more comfortable you are with the information and the easier it is to remember.
I stress repetition as one of the keys to improving your memory in my memory training courses. It reinforces the lesson in your brain and the more you repeat it the better you will remember. Once committed to memory it is not likely to be lost, even if that information is not utilized again for years.
New connections (synapses) are made between your brain cells (neurons) when you learn new things. You are building up your short-term memory in order for the information to be retained and passed along to your long-term memory — where it is kept in a special place so it easier to pull back when you need it.
I enjoy playing memory games to build up my recall — especially trivia games. It allows you to recall information you may have committed to long-term memory, but may have long forgotten. It’s good to exercise recall, and it also gets your brain working to produce new brain cell connections, and we all could use some additional ones of those!
The original lessons we learned as children are usually the building blocks and basic foundation for other lessons we have to learn throughout our lives. Through repetition all of these lessons were imprinted in our brain, and as adults we can always retrieve them.
Growing up my mother would have us help her with the dishes and we would review our spelling words for the week. I fondly recall having trouble with the word “something” in the second or third grade. Every night we would go over all the words on our list until we got them. The word “something” was on that blackboard near the kitchen sink for a couple weeks. Finally I got it and we could erase it from the board. I was so excited!
Repetition helps you to remember names and faces. When introduced to someone repeat their name back to them, and continue to call them by their name when you are speaking to them. The next time you meet that person you should be able to remember their name.
The same holds through for numbers — look at the numbers, put them into some kind of pattern you can recall easier. Then repeat them. This memory tool (called chunking) works wonders when you have to remember a large group of numbers or words.
Scientists conducted research at the University of Texas in Austin to study the activity levels of large brain regions. Using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) they searched for patterns of activity across all aspects of the brain. By mapping the activity of different areas of the brain — such as for reading, language, crafts, etc. previous studies have shown it strengthens the brain.
Since we know understand that all areas of the brain are used for different functions, and not just one portion at a time, and that we continue to make new neural connections and brain cells. They also understand that memories created and reinforced through repetition were stronger.
About the author:
Ron White is a two-time U.S.A. Memory Champion and memory training expert. As a memory keynote speaker he travels the world to speak before large groups or small company seminars, demonstrating his memory skills and teaching others how to improve their memory, and how important a good memory is in all phases of your life. His CDs and memory products are also available online at BrainAthlete.com.
Memoryzine.com – Repeating Brain Activity Pattern Each Time Helps Remembering: http://memoryzine.com/2010/09/10/repeating-brain-activity-pattern-each-time-helps-remembering/
Homework Help Today — The Importance of Repetition in Tutoring and Learning: http://www.homeworkhelptoday.com/2008/11/the-importance-of-repetition-in-tutoring-and-learning/