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Mentalrobics™

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!

As we age, our thinking slows down. This reduces our ability to processes large amounts of information and transfer it into long-term memory. This is one reason why it becomes more difficult to remember things as we get older.

One way to improve your memory is to focus your attention on one thing at a time. This reduces the amount of information that needs to be processed by your brain which allows it to process it more effectively. Focusing your attention on something doesn't have to be difficult. Turning off the television in the background and minimizing interruptions are easy steps. If you are having a conversation with someone, look at them when they talk and try to repeat what they said if it was important. Try to finish one task before you begin another one.

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Eidetic imagery is the ability to retain an accurate visual image of a complex scene or pattern shortly after looking at it. The scene can then be described in detail for a short time. Eidetic imagery is a trait possessed by about 5% of children. The ability to form eidetic images is very rare past adolescence.

To produce an eidetic image, a person must study a scene for some time and must actively concentrate on this scene to retain it in memory. These images fade quickly when the attention is diverted to something else. Naming or identifying parts of the scene tend to interrupt the ability to form an eidetic image. Thus it is very difficult to form an eidetic memory of text.

Sometimes eidetic imagery is called photographic memory. This term is not exactly accurate because this type of memory is not formed like a photograph; eidetic images can be fragmentary and are not necessarily more accurate than normal memories. Additionally, photographic memory is a learned skill rather than a trait you are born with. For example, some people demonstrate impressive memory abilities, with feats like memorizing the number pi out to thousands of digits. Sometimes these people are described as having photographic memories. In reality, photographic memory is simply the successful application of effective memory techniques. In that respect, photographic memory is a learned skill that you can eventually acquire.

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Acronyms and Acrostics are often used to help people remember specific facts.
A few of the most popular acronyms are listed below:

To remember the colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet), try this man's name:
ROY G. BIV

For naming the planets in order from the sun (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto):
My Very Easy Memory Jingle Seems Useful Naming Planets

The biological taxonomy (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species):
Kings Play Cards On Fat Green Stools

The arithmetic order of operations (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction):
PEMDAS

To remember the color codes on resistors, capacitors, and other electronic components:
Bright Boys Rave Over Young Girls But Veto Getting Wed

Medical students can remember the 12 cranial nerves with:
On Old Olympus' Towering Top, A Finely Vested German Viewed A Hawk

The basic trig functions (sine=opposite/hypotenuse) (cosine=adjacent/hypotenuse) (tangent=opposite/adjacent):
SOH CAH TOA

The great lakes of North America (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior):
HOMES

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Now that we have learned the Phonetic Mnemonic System, we can use it to memorize long numbers. We have already learned how to memorize the first few digits of pi. Here we will learn how to memorize 150 digits by using a little poem created by A. Loisette over a hundred years ago.

Mother Day will buy any shawl.
3.14 1 5 9 2 65
My love, pick up my new muff.
3 58 97 9 3 2 38
A Russian jeer may move a woman.
462 64 3 38 32
Cables enough for Utopia.
7950 28 84 19
Get a cheap ham pie by my cooley.
71 69 3 9 9 3 75
The slave knows a bigger ape.
1 058 20 974 9
I rarely hop on my sick foot.
445 9 2 3 07 81
Cheer a sage in a fashion safe.
64 06 2 862 08
A baby fish now views my wharf.
99 86 2 80 3 48
Annually Mary Ann did kiss a jay.
25 34 2 11 70 6
A cabby found a rough savage.
79 821 48 086
A low dumb knave knew a message showy.
5 13 28 2 306 6
Argus up my fire rushes.
470 9 3 84 460
A bee will lose life in enmity.
9 5 50 58 2 231
A canal may well appear swift.
725 3 5 94 081

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Once mastered, the Phonetic Mnemonic System is great for remembering things. It can be used exactly like the Link, Loci, or Peg systems to form visual associations. These associations work like a mental filing system for the information that you want to learn.

Additionally, it can be used with great success to remember numbers. We have already seen how you can use pegwords to remember numbers, and the phonetic system works in a similar way. It can actually be more efficient since a word can represent more than one digit.

Suppose that you are trying to remember the telephone number 756-1286. Using the phonetic system, we know that this number can be represented by the sounds c+l+ch + t+n+f+sh which you could remember by the words "clutch tuna fish." Similarly, you could remember the first few letters of pi (3.14159265) with the phrase "Mother day will buy any shawl."

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