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How to Improve Memory: Intensity, Duration, and Repetition

Learning About the Brain and Neurons


In this article, we will discuss how to improve memory by talking about the brain and its neurons. We'll explain techniques that will allow you to better think and improve memory.



How can learning about the brain improve memory? Let’s begin with the basics. Your brain has incredible abilities. No person engineered it, yet it’s more powerful than our largest supercomputers. The brain has 15-33 billion neurons that each receive and transmit signals from other neurons. These neurons are the basic building blocks for your entire brain. You can’t learn about the brain without understanding the neuron’s contribution. So let’s start there to figure out how to improve memory.


How to Improve Memory: Use Intensity, Duration and Repetition


Neuron connections grow stronger when they are activated at the same time as neurons they’re connected to. This connection grows stronger when the experience has greater intensity, longer duration, or is repeated. These ideas are intuitive. Think back to intense moments in your life; perhaps the question, “Where were you on 9-11,” rings a bell. Those moments create an intense chemical-electrical stimulation in your brain, so they stick with you. Everyone understands that repetition produces a memory. We use flashcards to continually repeat math problems or new words until we remember them. Finally, to prove duration to yourself, try quickly flipping through a stack of notecards, versus taking the notecards and staring at each one for 20 seconds. On the neuron level, the connections of neurons that create your experience are growing a strong chemical-electrical bond between eachother. The more intense, longer duration, and more repetition of the same memory, the stronger the bond gets.

How to Improve Memory: Try Mental Exercises Focused on Intensity, Duration, and Repetition

1. Intensity: Try keeping an experience journal to practice experiencing moments with greater intensity. This will improve memory by helping you to focus on multiple senses. Try to relive the details. Visualize what you saw. Taste, touch, smell, or feel the emotions that you felt.

Relive good moments from your past. Relive moments of happiness, peace, and times you felt loved. This practice has far-reaching benefits. It alleviates feelings of anxiety, depression, and will improve memory.

2. Duration: You can increase concentration by focusing for an extended duration. Try staring at a piece of fruit for 5-15 minutes straight. Don’t strain your eyes, and if your mind wanders gently bring it back to focus on the object. Practice this 3-5 days per week, over a few months and you will improve concentration and improve memory. The longer you can focus on a single object in front of you, the longer you will be able to focus on a single idea at work or school. Click here for more concentration exercises.

3. Repetition: MemNem’s Memory Cards are the perfect tool to use in order to get your review period intervals correct. Your brain has a normal rhythm of forgetting and remembering information. After 1 day you’ve forgotten 90% of what happened during your day. You lose 90% of your memories again after a week, 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months… and on and on. However, has created an online application that allows you to review memories at the right interval. This considerably increases the amount of information you can memorize. Try out our memory cards to improve memory.

In future lessons, we will continue our discussion about the brain, and describe how to improve memory even more.


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Series: "How to Improve Memory"