It’s a classic situation – you meet someone new, and then moments later you’ve forgotten their name! Names, passwords, pin and telephone numbers… the list is endless – with so much to memorize is it really possible to improve how much you can remember?
The good news is “yes”! Just like every muscle in your body, the adage ”use it or lose it” applies, so the more you exercise your brain, the more you will remember.
‘Mnemonic’ is another word for memory tool. Mnemonics are techniques for remembering information that is otherwise quite difficult to recall: A very simple example is the ‘30 days hath September’ rhyme for remembering the number of days in each calendar month.
The idea behind using mnemonics is to encode difficult-to-remember information in a way that is much easier to remember. Our brains evolved to code and interpret complex stimuli such as images, colors, structures, sounds, smells, tastes, touch, positions, emotions and language. We use these to make sophisticated models of the world we live in. Our memories store all of these very effectively. Unfortunately, a lot of the information we have to remember in modern life is presented differently – as words printed on a page. While
writing is a rich and sophisticated medium for conveying complex arguments, our brains do not easily encode written information, making it difficult to remember.