You exercise your body to stay physically in shape, so why shouldn't you exercise your brain to stay mentally fit? With these daily exercises you will learn how to flex your mind, improve your creativity and boost your memory. As with any exercise, repetition is necessary for you to see improvement, so pick your favorite exercises from our daily suggestions and repeat them as desired. Try to do some mentalrobics every single day!
Although nobody knows for certain, it is thought that in human evolution, an upright posture came before a developed brain. This upright posture freed up our ape-ancestors hands to use primitive tools such as rocks and sticks. It also allowed raised their eye level which helped them better see prey and predator. This started happening about 15 million years ago. For over 10 million more years, the brain stayed pretty much the same size. Beginning with Homo erectus, the brain size of our ancestors started growing dramatically. Almost all of this growth was in the expansion of the cerebral cortex which is what gives humans the ability to have language, abstract thoughts and consciousness. In only 3 million years brain sizes had quadrupled, giving humans the largest brain per body size ratio of any species on earth. It is still unknown why or how the brain could grow so much in such a short period of evolutionary time.
A repressed memory is one that is still stored in the brain, but is not accessible by the conscious mind. Because these memories are usual of traumatic events, the theory is that the mind represses them to protect the individual from undue psychological stress. When a repressed memory is brought back into consciousness, it is called a recovered memory.
Due to the relative ease with which a practitioner can intentionally or unintentionally implant false memories via the power of suggestion, there is currently a great debate among psychologists as to whether or not repressed memories actually exist.
Suggestibility is a memory problem that results from outside information being absorbed and incorporated into the memory of an event. You may remember wearing the red shirt to the party last week, but if someone insists that you were wearing a blue shirt, this may alter your memory. The next time you recall the event you may remember the incorrect information because it has been assimilative into your memory through suggestion.
Children are particularly susceptible to suggestibility because their brains are not fully developed. Several studies have shown that false memories can be implanted in children by using suggestive or leading questioning by authority figures, such as police.
You may be asking yourself why you should improve your memory and learning skills in this modern age of technology. You could always do a Google search to find information or plug something into your PDA to remember it!
On the contrary, good memory skills can help you in many situations where you don't have access to recording technology. What if you think of a brilliant idea in the shower? Or while driving? Not to mention that memory skills can increase your confidence in public speaking (since you will have the speech memorized), and save you the embarrassment of forgetting someone's name (you can't very well dig out your PDA to remember someone standing right in front of you!).
The other problem with modern technology is that it gives you an excuse to let your mind get lazy and forget something. If all of your passwords, phone numbers, and schedules are in your PDA, what happens when your batteries run dry or you leave it on the bus? It's impossible to leave your brain on the bus, so why not try to get more information into your head?
Have you ever had the experience where you knew that you knew a piece of information but you couldn't get at it because some other memory was in the way? Maybe you were trying to remember someone's name, and the wrong answer kept popping into your head. This is called blocking and occurs when incorrect information obscures what you are trying to remember. This type of memory problem becomes more common with age.
This usually happens with memories that share the same semantic space in the brain. For example, a grandmother needs to remember the names of all of her grandchildren. Her brain stores all these names in a similar way and uses similar associations to recall them. This is why she may call her grandchildren by the wrong name by accident. The memories of the names are so close together that the wrong answer sometimes gets in the way.
Luckily, a blocked memory can usually be retrieved within a few minutes. It usually pops into your head as soon as you stop trying to remember.