7.11.2008

Repeat to Remember, Remember to Repeat

It takes years to consolidate a memory. Not minutes, hours, or days but years. What you learn in first grade is not completely formed until your sophomore year in high school.

Watch John Medina explain how long-term memory works. View on YouTube.


BRAIN RULE RUNDOWN
Rule #5: Repeat to remember

  • The human brain can only hold about seven pieces of information for less than 30 seconds! Which means, your brain can only handle a 7-digit phone number. If you want to extend the 30 seconds to a few minutes or even an hour or two, you will need to consistently re-expose yourself to the information. Memories are so volatile that you have to repeat to remember.
  • Improve your memory by elaborately encoding it during its initial moments. Many of us have trouble remembering names. If at a party you need help remembering Mary, it helps to repeat internally more information about her. “Mary is wearing a blue dress and my favorite color is blue.” It may seem counterintuitive at first but study after study shows it improves your memory.
  • Brain Rules in the classroom. In partnership with the University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University, Medina tested this Brain Rule in real classrooms of 3rd graders. They were asked to repeat their multiplication tables in the afternoons. The classrooms in the study did significantly better than the classrooms that did not have the repetition. If brain scientists get together with teachers and do research, we may be able to eliminate need for homework since learning would take place at school, instead of the home.
More Resources
->Short-term memory tutorial (Brain Rule #5)
->Short-term memory references (PDF)
->Long-term memory tutorial (Brain Rule #6)
->Long-term memory references (PDF)

2 comments:

trevor_brain_memory said...

This has some great information. Some more guidance on how the average person can improve their memory can be found in a free report at www.elementsofmemory.com

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