Memory Improvement Strategies
Medical research of memory deficits and age-related memory loss has resulted in new explanations and treatment techniques to improve memory, including diet, exercise, stress management, cognitive therapy and pharmaceutical medications. Neuroimaging as well as cognitive neuroscience have provided neurobiological evidence supporting holistic ways in which one can improve memory.
Cognitive training: Discovering that the brain can change as a result of experience has resulted in the development of cognitive training. Cognitive training improves cognitive functioning, which can increase working memory capacity and improve cognitive skills and functions in clinical populations with working memory deficiencies. Cognitive training may focus on attention, speed of processing, neurofeedback, dual-tasking and perceptual training.
Psychopharmacology is the scientific study of the actions of drugs and their effects on mood, sensation, thought, and behavior. Evidence that aspects of memory can be improved by action on selective neurotransmitter systems, such as the cholinergic system which releases acetylcholine, has possible therapeutic benefits for patients with cognitive disorders.
There is some evidence glucose consumption may have a positive impact on memory performance, though not in young adults.
Meditation, a form of mental training to focus attention, has been shown to increase the control over brain resource distribution, improving both attention and self-regulation. The changes are potentially long-lasting as meditation may have the ability to strengthen neuronal circuits as selective attentional processes improve. Meditation may also enhance cognitive limited capacity, affecting the way in which stimuli are processed.
Exercise: In both human and animal studies, exercise has been shown to improve cognitive performance on encoding and retrieval tasks. Morris water maze and radial arm water maze studies of rodents found that, when compared to sedentary animals, exercised mice showed improved performance traversing the water maze and displayed enhanced memory for the location of an escape platform. Likewise, human studies have shown that cognitive performance is improved due to physiological arousal, which speeded mental processes and enhanced memory storage and retrieval. Ongoing exercise interventions have been found to favourably impact memory processes in older adults and children.
Mental exercise: Aristotle wrote a treatise about memory: De memoria et reminiscentia. To improve recollection, he advised that a systematic search should be made and that practice was helpful. He suggested grouping the items to be remembered in threes and then concentrating upon the central member of each triad (group of three). Music playing has recently gained attention as a possible way to promote brain plasticity. Promising results have been found suggesting that learning music can improve various aspects of memory.
Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License)