Ever complaining about things like not remembering where you put the car’s keys or forgetting to buy something from the supermarket if it’s not on the shopping list? Well, you will now be able to remember all the important stuff and even more, thanks to a memory training method tested by Dutch researchers, and used by renowned memory champions.
Starting from the fact that most people think that having a sharp and keen memory is more a gift than something you can train, a team of scientists from the Netherlands sought out to find if this assumption is true. Their study shows that a good memory is not something given to you, but something you can train. Moreover, anyone can become just at good at remembering things like a champion by practicing at least 30 minutes per day.
The study, which was recently published in the Neuron Journal, proved that people with an average memory were able to recall significantly more words after training for 40 days.
In order to see if the average human brain can be trained to accomplish great memory performance, Dr. Martin Dresler of Radboud University Medical Center (Nijmegen) and his team asked 51 people to partake in the study. Dresler declared that none of the participants had any memory training prior to the study.
The study’s participants were divided into three major groups. According to the scientists, the first group received training session focused on improving short-term memory, while the second group has received a strategic thinking training. The third group did not receive any kind of training.
As Dresler explained, the first group was trained to remember words in sequences, while the second group received more specialized training. For the strategic memory group, Dresler and his team chose a method called loci technique. This method implies associated a list of words with a familiar place like a living room, bedroom, or a library.
So, in order to remember a word or a concept, the trainee only needs to go back to his or her familiar place and retrace the world. If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes, the loci technique is very similar to Holmes’s mind palace.
At the end of the study, the participants trained to use the loci technique remembered at least 35 words more than at the start of the study. As for the first group, the participants remember 11 more words, while the third group recalled only seven additional words.
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