How to enhance your memory?
Smell: Scientists believe that scent is a strong factor when you're trying to recall something. Reason is scientific; other sensory inputs go through various parts before they get into the brain while nose is able to bypass all that and reaches brain much faster. How to make use of it? Next time you're studying for a test, use a scented lip balm while memorizing for the test and then on the test day bring the same lip balm for your exam.Make use of these techniques and convert your brain into a well organized database.
Music: This one is fun, trust us. Okay, so what you need to do is to put music into play! Let's say you are trying to remember periodic table, put it into a song just as the Math teacher Tom Lehrer did back in the 1950s. The simple technique is to take the text and put it into a song you're familiar with. How many of you watched 'Here comes the boom'? This technique was employed in the movie when the guy was preparing for his English test; remembering historical events from the history of America.
Setting: This one is quite interesting. Remember that when we lost or forgot something, our parents would ask us to go back to the place where we last remember seeing it? Yes, they were scientifically correct. Since memory is linked with sensory inputs, the better you have those cues, higher are the chances of you recalling your memory. This is known as context-dependent memory. Researchers have proved that if you memorized something underwater you would recall it better when you're underwater. This is 'setting' can help you in improving your recall ability and memorizing.
Chunking: Research says that at any given time the number of items you can store in your working memory (which fades away in 18 seconds) ranges from five to nine with seven being the average. Think, how can you remember a phone number that is obviously more than 7 numbers; it is stored in the form of chunks and the number may be stored in your memory as three or four chunks. This information can be used to boost up your memory. Playing chess will help you in improving your chunking ability.
Method of loci: The technique was invented by the Romans and proved by science that this works very effectively for young and the old. It has more than one name; Roman Room Method and the journey method. The key idea is to virtually walk through an area you are well acquainted with and store memories along your way. Later, when you need to access a memory, you walk there again and retrieve the proper information and voila! Method of Loci is one of the oldest memory techniques.
Linking: This one is fun. The key idea is to link up a list of unrelated stuff via short story. Yup, that's right. Say you have a grocery list; you could start by creating a story to remember it. Sounds fun? There is one drawback though; if the list is long you might need multiple short stories otherwise your short story won't remain short anymore. The method is considered quite useful and effective.
Focus: We have bad news for music lovers; stop listening to music when you are trying to memorize. The key notion behind this is simple; the more sensory inputs you are providing to your brain, the sloppy your memory is getting. Since your brain is merely jumping to and fro from different inputs that it's getting. So shut off that TV and/or your mp3 player when you sit down to study and 'focus' on what you're trying to memorize. Remember the golden rule; the less the better.
Peg system: This is a strange memory recall method but it works and science backs it too. The key idea is that you would imagine a human body and store information in form of pegs. The pegs will contain pictures which relate to the information you are storing. An example; let's say you are memorizing parts of eye, you could use the forehead as the peg and imagine a picture of a student to represent pupil! This is association method, although seemingly bizarre, works great when you are trying to memorize small groups of information which are related.
Snooze button: This is pretty amazing and will come quite handy when you're trying to remember a phone number, just long enough to get a chance to write it down on a piece of paper. According to research, our working memory, the one we make use of when we are adding up numbers has a span of 18 seconds. That is to say, that anything in your working memory will fade after 18 seconds.
However, some people might be able to retain a few pieces, let's say 10 percent, but that isn't enough obviously. The key here is to rehearse the word/number every fifteen seconds until you get a chance to write it down.