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Try these five mnemonic strategies.

The following useful mnemonic devices may help you improve your ability to encode and recall information, and possibly boost brain activity in memory regions as well:

1 Make up a rhyme or song: Catchy datties can make otherwise boring information easy to remember. Example: "I before E, except after C, or when sounded like 'A,' as in neighbor and weigh."

2 Devise acronyms and acrostics: Use the first letter of key words or ideas to form an easy-to-remember cue word or cue sentence. Example The acronym BRASS can be used to remember the key points in shooting a rifle--Breathe, Relax, Aim, Sight, and Squeeze. The first letters of the nine planets in the solar system form the acrostic "My Very Easy Method: Just Set Up Nine Planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto)."

3 Substitute word-length mnemonics for numbers: Need to memorize your son's new telephone number? Try forming a sentence in which the number of letters in each word corresponds to the telephone number (render zero as a 10-letter word). Example: 567-1023 might be the sentence "Birds loudly twitter--I anticipate my cat."

4 Tell a story: Link together items in a list, or key ideas in an elaborate story, the more outrageous, the better. Example: Your grocery list (milk, hamburger, dog food, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, olive oil, and dishwashing detergent) might be transformed into a tale about a hungry puppy looking for food that fell into a salad bowl containing tomatoes, lettuce, and onions dressed with olive oil. A sympathetic rescuer cleaned the oily pup with diswashing detergent, and then comforted him with a meal of hamburger and milk.

5 Conjure up a visual image: The grocery list above might be remembered as a vivid image. Example: Picture your dog sitting on top of a box of dishwashing detergent with a bottle of olive oil in his mouth, wearing a collar of tomatoes, onions and lettuce. He's looking longingly at a giant hamburger balanced on top of a milk container, ignoring the full dog dish beside him.

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Publication:Mind, Mood & Memory
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2012
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