The brain is a very powerful tool and one of the many great things that it can do is remember things. The brain controls the function that is our memory. Many compare the brain to a super computer. In many ways there are similarities however, the brain is a far more sophisticated and can do far more things than a computer. For example, the brains ability to store information and facts is limitless.
Without our memory we would not be able to function or survive for too long. Our memory is created through the connections of millions and millions of tiny neurons in the brain. The process of our memory has three simple steps as follows:
1. Take in new information
2. Storing information
3. Retrieving information
For us to absorb or take in new information into our brain we need to focus or as our teachers would say, pay attention. When we focus our attention this moves the brain into action.
Building up our memory and the information we hold is based on the connections we make and the new information we are absorbing on a daily basis. Making more associations with the data or memories we already have will help to strengthen our ability to remember in the short and the long term.
We can absorb more effectively when we engage all our senses. These include taste, smell, sight, hearing and touch. You will probably know that any of these senses can trigger long term memories. For example, a food smell may take you back to when you were young and eating your school dinner. Your sight is particular influential when it comes to memory as the brain is designed to absorb more information through this sense than the others. That is why when we are told to remember things the common term that is used for this process is to see it in your mind’s eye.
As well as your vision your emotions play an important role in the formation of your memory. For example, if we recall a good time in our lives this can make us feel good in the moment. If we remember a sad time then this can make us sad in that moment.
The best way to store information is through repeated practice, Just like a muscle you need to keep training it to make it better. By repetitively remembering information, words and numbers we are making stronger associations in our brains making recall more effective.
We can either retrieve information when we choose to do it or information can arrive through external triggers such as a smell. Our capacity to recall that information will also be based on the how strongly that information is fixed in our mind.
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