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Memory improvement techniques are called
mnemonic devices or simply mnemonics, says Dr.
Hamden. All mnemonic devices depend upon two
basic principles: firstly, the recoding of information
into forms that are easy to remember, and secondly,
supplying oneself with excellent retrieval cues to
recall the information when it is needed. For example,
many schoolchildren learn the colours of the visible
spectrum by learning the imaginary name ROY G.
BIV, which stands for red, orange, yellow, green,
blue, indigo, violet. “Several bits of information
are repackaged into an acronym that is easier to
remember,” says Dr. Hamden. The letters of the
acronym serve as retrieval cues that enable recall of the
desired information.
1
Keep lists.
2
Follow a routine.
3
Make associations (connect things in
your mind), such as using landmarks
to help you find places.
4
Keep a detailed calendar.
5
Put important items, such as your
keys, in the same place every time.
6
Repeat names when you meet new
people.
7
Do things that keep your mind and
body busy.
8
Run through the ABC’s in your
head to help you think of words
you’re having trouble remembering.
“Hearing” the first letter of a word may
jog your memory.
• Chunking is used when remembering numbers to
break the group into a smaller number of “chunks.”
• Sentences/acrostics are created using the first letter
of each word you are trying to remember. Instead of
making a new word, use letters to make a sentence
such as My Dear Aunt Sally (mathematical order
of operations: Multiply and Divide before you Add
and Subtract.)
• Method of loci combines organization, visual
memory, and association. Before using the
technique, identify a common path that you walk
along. Imagine walking along it and identify specific
landmarks you will pass-the number of landmarks
you choose will depend on the number of things
required to remember.
• Rhymes and songs can all aid memory and draw on
your auditory memory.
(Credit: Dr. Raymond Hamden)
Simple Steps to Help Remember
What Are Mnemonic Devices
Other Ways To Improve Your Memory
41
Oct/Nov 2014