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Strategies to help retain information better during learning

Last updated on April 19th, 2018 at 12:39 pm

Memory – a critical factor

Your brain is the most valuable organ in your body. Without it, you would not be doing anything which you are doing now- including eating, sleeping, reading, writing, learning, perceiving, and smell. All actions have their origin in the brain and the results of our experiences, of what we experience and acquire by learning is stored in the brain as memory.

While memory is essential for our life at all times, it is especially in demand during our school and college years. This is the time, when a lot of bookish knowledge needs to be stored and retained, to be tested for comprehension and understanding during the assessment. So, to acquire more, we need to understand how to learn and retain information better.

Increase your memory retention

There are ways by which you can keep working and enhancing your memory. To retain and enhance your current memory prowess, you need to keep working on it and you need to use your brain cells. If you thought that memory bank can store an unlimited amount of stuff forever, it is not so. The areas of your brain responsible for memory i.e. processing and retention of information will not keep information unless you keep on presenting it to the memory cells.

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Exercise your memory

All good electronic devices will get spoilt if you do not use them regularly. Likewise, your memory will get spoilt if you do not train and work it out regularly. You can work it out by doing things which challenge and test your memory. Playing games, puzzles are some ways of giving a healthy work out for your brain.

Good health is necessary for good memory

A healthy, active functioning brain needs a healthy body. This means that you should have the optimum intake of nutrients. Brain cells need glucose and oxygen for their survival. In the absence of both, they can die. Daily exercise also brings in fresh oxygen for the cells and this helps to keep the cells functioning and happy.

Build more neuronal connections

For adding and storing information, neuronal connections are involved. The more we expose our brain to certain kinds of information on a regular basis, the more would the neuronal connections be built up and the more strongly would the information be stored. In this way, temporarily stored information is converted to permanent or long-term memory.

Initially, all new information obtained through the sense organs are stored as short-term memory. To be converted into Long Term memory, it needs to be converted into long-term ones. This is done by repetition, retraining, as well as linking up the new piece of information to previously existing information. In spite of this, some memories tend to get discarded- weak memories or those which have built weak neural networks- which have not been used over time.

For consolidation of these memories, it is essential to get good sleep. It is during sleep that brain cells go over the patterns of information transmission it received and help transfer it to long-term memory. This it does so by the strengthening of the synapses at the junctions of the nerve cells.

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