In your academic life, you would have wondered so many times “How can I improve my visual memory” or “Wish! I could remember stuff easily”. Well, the latest research has unraveled the answer to this problem. I’ll tell you the exact ways you can use to improve your memory.
What is Visual Memory
Before going to improve your visual memory, you must know what visual memory is actually?
Visual memory is the ability to recall information such as words, places, or events that one has seen in the past. In communication, we use words and phrases but when we try to remember, it is in the form of concepts and pictures.
Visual memory has two types:
Short term memory:
Short-term memory is the information that lasts for a brief period in our brain. For instance
- when we try to copy content from one page to another
- when we are noting down points during a lecture.
- Looking at faces while passing on the road
This type of memory doesn’t retain in our minds longer than a few minutes.
Long Term Memory:
If the visual memory is repeated frequently or if it is related to emotions, it retains for longer periods in our brain.
Try to recall the oldest memory in your life!
Well, most probably it will have a strong emotional element involved. This is because our brain is wired to recall stuff that affects its working rather than tons of information present in books.
But apart from emotional memories, the brain can also recall data through persistent efforts. We all have done these efforts during our academic life.
Following are the few steps you must take to improve your visual memory:
Recalling now and then:
If you ask an expert “how can I improve my visual memory?” the best answer you will get would be “Recall and not repeat”
Most students read textbooks and try to cram things by repeating them under their breath or aloud. This has proven an infective way to remember things. Because when one closes the book, everything vanishes from the mind.
A group of neuroscientists in the Netherlands conducted research. They found that recalling particular information for 30 minutes every day for 40 days establishes stronger connections between neurons in the brain. This stores the memory for longer periods in the brain. That is why the use of flashcards and sticky notes is highly effective in improving your memory.
The proper way is to read for 30 to 45 minutes, close the book and do something else like take a walk or eat a cupcake. Then after 5 minutes try to recall what you learned. This will strengthen the connections in the brain and thus, help in improving your memory.
Relating a story or place to the information:
Research has shown that our brain remembers the sequence of events much better than individual pieces of information. So, making up a story related to the information is a much easier way to store it permanently.
Recently, an experiment was conducted by neuroscientists. This was based on the “Memory place” technique.
In the experiment, they asked a group of students to imagine their house or street. Then they gave them some information and asked them to relate each piece of information to a particular landmark or furniture. The results were astonishing. They remembered 50 to 60 % more information than the control group(those who didn’t associate information with a place)
Be careful of what you eat:
While it may not seem very obvious, what we eat affects a lot on how we perform. If you want to improve your memory, you should avoid:
- Refined carbs like sodas, snacks, pasta, etc
- Foods rich in sugar like cakes, pastries, etc
The best foods for boosting memory are:
- Fish oil
- Vitamin D rich foods
Mental exercises are very helpful in improving recall and visual memory. But the thing you gotta keep in mind is ”Don’t stick to one exercise.” Try new exercises from time to time. That’s because playing one game over and over will let you excel in that game only.
Your mental capability increases when you let your brain be exposed to a diversity of new exercises. It improves the coordination between different regions of the brain by boosting your working memory.
MentalUP is a good website to try hundreds of mind games.
Improving visual memory depends a lot on how much sleep you are taking. Sleep is the time during which all the important memories in rain go from short-term to long-term storage areas.
Taking 6 hours of sleep a day is a must for any person. Sleep deprivation not only affects visual memory but also affects our performance and mood.
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