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Memory and Awareness: Training One’s Brain

It is crucial to improve your everyday memory. How well memory is developed depends on how much information we can remember. A well-trained memory enhances concentration, increases productivity, and develops thinking and creativity. The brain works like a computer, but unlike the latter, it cannot be filled to 100%: it stores an unlimited amount of information. And so that there is no overload, our gray matter has an “excellent” function – forgetting. This is a natural phenomenon that we cannot prevent. But we can improve the brain’s work – we just need to separate unnecessary information from the necessary and learn not to forget really important things.

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It is crucial to improve everyday memory and awareness, but it is also essential to understand which techniques work specifically for you. The memorization process largely depends on the characteristics of perception, the type of memory, and the techniques used. Thanks to such a property of the brain as neuroplasticity, memory can and should be strengthened (Costandi, 2016). Audials are better off using audiobooks and lectures and discussing latest information in a group. It is necessary to say out loud what you heard and retell for more effective memorization. For visuals, note-taking will be effective, and it can be done in various ways: make up mind maps, concept maps, draw objects, highlight important fragments with colors in tables, graphs. Kinesthetics should develop motor skills and write as much by hand as possible. You can also associate memorization with an exercise – squeezing a small object in your hand, thereby increasing concentration.

The division into essential and not essential things for attention is a vital topic since our brain does it independently, and these processes occur unconsciously, outside of our consciousness. The meditation technique is an excellent tool for regaining control over our attention and awareness since it is the “translation” from unconscious perception into conscious awareness that makes memorizing the surrounding reality effective (Raffone et al., 2019). Meditation involves some practice of training attention. Scientists became interested in this, setting themselves the task of studying the properties of ‘attention quanta.’ Attention quanta are limited to a duration of about half a second: this is the limit of recognition of two consecutive stimuli (Miquel, 2015). The phenomenon of lack of perception during this time is called attentional blink (Schöne et al., 2018). It turned out that meditation can significantly reduce this phenomenon (Schöne et al., 2018). It is assumed that meditation helps a person effectively redistribute neurophysiological resources that go to the formation of memory.

References

Costandi, M. (2016). Neuroplasticity. MIT Press.

Miquel, C. (2015). Towards a quantum model for meditation. Advances in Systems Science and Applications, 15(2), 99-118.

Raffone, A., Marzetti, L., Del Gratta, C., Perrucci, M. G., Romani, G. L., & Pizzella, V. (2019). Toward a brain theory of meditation. Progress in brain research, 244, 207-232.

Schöne, B., Gruber, T., Graetz, S., Bernhof, M., & Malinowski, P. (2018). Mindful breath awareness meditation facilitates efficiency gains in brain networks: A steady-state visually evoked potentials study. Scientific reports, 8(1), 1-10.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Memory and Awareness: Training One’s Brain'. 5 March.

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