It may sound like an advert, but it’s true: you can give your memory a boost by using your Learning Style. The techniques are simple, yet tailored especially towards your own unique way of learning.
To understand how your Learning Style affects the way in which you absorb new information best, please have a look here. Today, however, we will concentrate on the process of consolidating the already-learnt information in order to cement it in your memory.
A bit of scientific jargon here: the most recent research studies support the hypothesis that “enhanced memory in humans is associated with elevated norepinephrine activity during memory consolidation”. In everyday language, it means that stimulating the “Fight or Flight” response in the body makes your brain remember the situation. Our emotions influence how well the brain encodes information about exciting or meaningful events (from http://www.apa.org/monitor/apr04/vagus.html).
So, the message is clear:
- feel very positive about the thing you’re trying to memorise, and you will;
- feel extremely negative about the thing you’re trying to memorise, and you will, too.
(Love your teacher, hate your teacher, fear your teacher - all those emotions will help you learn.)
The good news is that we don’t necessarily need to simulate a life-or-death situation or to become emotional in order to enhance our memory. Because norepinephrine is also released during physical activity, doing energising exercises immediately after a period of intensive memorising will help you retain the information. Similarly, going for a brisk walk when you’re trying to recall something might help unlock the obstinate memory pathway... unless mobility is not in the list of your Learning Style Preferences, of course.
What is your own Learning Style? Find out here.