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Introduction to Memory Techniques.

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Introduction to Memory Techniques Mnemonics are methods for remembering information that is otherwise quite difficult to recall. A very simple example of a mnemonic is the '30 days hath September' rhyme. The basic principle of mnemonics, is to use as many of the best functions of the human brain as possible to code information. The human brain evolved to code and interpret complex stimuli - images, colour, structure, sounds, smells, tastes, touch, spatial awareness, emotion, and language - using them to make sophisticated interpretations of the environment. Human memory is made up of all these features. Typically, however, information presented to be remembered is from one source - normally words on a page. While language, words on a page, reflects one of the most important aspects of human evolution, it is only one of the many skills and resources available to the human mind. Using Your Whole Mind To Remember Mnemonics seek to use all of these resources. By coding language and numbers in sophisticated, striking images which flow into other strong images, we can accurately and reliably code both information and the structure of information to be easily recalled later. This section of Mind Tools seeks to show you the techniques that enable you to use all of your mind to remember information. Layout of the Memory Techniques Section The initial articles explain the fundamentals of use of mnemonics, and how to use them most effectively. These are complemented by general articles giving the essential background to the use of memory techniques. The next section discusses many of the most effective memory techniques currently available. Many are quite simple and easy to understand and use. ...read more.


The way in which people learn is often a factor determining the subjects they choose to study, instructors they relate to, and careers chosen in life. How Your Learning Style Affects Your Use of Mnemonics The way in which people learn affects the sort of mnemonics they should consider using to store information. The three main learning styles are: * visual * auditory * kinaesthetic No-one uses one of the styles exclusively, and there is usually significant overlap in learning styles. To discover your learning style, click here (links to psychometric test) Visual Learners Visual learners relate most effectively to written information, notes, diagrams and pictures. Typically they will be unhappy with a presentation where they are unable to take detailed notes - to an extent information does not exist for a visual learner unless it has been seen written down. This is why some visual learners will take notes even when they have printed course notes on the desk in front of them. Visual learners will tend to be most effective in written communication, symbol manipulation etc. Visual learners make up around 65% of the population. Auditory Learners Auditory learners relate most effectively to the spoken word. They will tend to listen to a lecture, and then take notes afterwards, or rely on printed notes. Often information written down will have little meaning until it has been heard - it may help auditory learners to read written information out loud. Auditory learners may be sophisticated speakers, and may specialise effectively in subjects like law or politics. Auditory learners make up about 30% of the population. Kinaesthetic Learners Kinaesthetic Learners learn effectively through touch and movement and space, and learn skills by imitation and practice. ...read more.


2. Remember to use location to separate similar mnemonics By setting an application of a memory system in one location and clearly using that location as a background, you can easily separate it from a different application of the same memory system set in a different place. 3. Why mnemonics might fail Typically you may forget things that you have coded with mnemonics if the images are not vivid enough, or if the images you are using do not have enough meaning or strength for you to feel comfortable with. Try changing the images used to more potent ones, and read the section on Using Mnemonics more Effectively. 4. Retrieving lost information You may find that you need to remember information that has either been lost because part of a mnemonic was not properly coded, or that simply was not placed into a mnemonic. To try to recall the information, try the following approaches: * In your mind run through the period when you coded the information, carried out the action, or viewed the thing to be remembered. Reconstructing events like this might trigger associations that help you to retrieve the information. * If the lost information was part of a list, review the other items in the list. These may be linked in some way to the forgotten item, or even if unlinked their positions in the list may offer a different cue to retrieve the information. * If you have any information such as general shape or purpose, try to reconstruct the information from this. * If all the above have failed, take your mind off the subject and concentrate on something else completely. Often the answer will just 'pop into your mind', as your subconscious has worked away on retrieving the information, or something you have been working on sparks an association. ...read more.

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