3 reflexes to adopt on a daily basis to boost our memory

3 reflexes to adopt on a daily basis to boost our memory

The “external” memories that are mobile phones, tablets and GPS are essential allies in our daily lives. But we have every interest in not relying totally on them and continue to cultivate our “internal” memory. Memorizing a phone number, finding one’s way with a road map or deepening one’s general culture effectively mobilizes our brain. Professor Francis Eustache, neuropsychologist, gives us the right reflexes to adopt to rediscover the pleasure of memorizing.

Forget autodial… and relearn how to memorize phone numbers

The natural inclination of the human brain being laziness, we rarely force ourselves to learn by heart information to which we have easy access via digital tools. We think we have better things to do with our memory than waste its resources on useless efforts! What if we were wrong? “The day when our mobile phone breaks down, when we find ourselves totally destitute, unable to reach our loved ones, for lack of having memorized their telephone numbers, the question of our human freedom arises for us. do we really want to live this relationship of submission and dependence on machines?” asks Francis Eustache, neuropsychologist, president of the Scientific Council of the B2V Observatory of Memories. Probably not…

– We try… de remember today three phone numbers that we will make the effort to memorize!

For it, it’s up to us to invent the associations that will help us to firmly anchor them in our memory (for example: 45, like the end of the war; 69, like my department of birth; 90, like the double of the first number; etc.). “Giving meaning to what is presented to us and a priori has none – like a phone number – is one of the keys to the functioning of memory. It is therefore interesting to seize every opportunity to train it. And for that, digital objects are very suitable,” he continues.

Read also> I boost my memory. Lesson n°1: how to easily remember a code or a telephone number?

Forget the GPS… and rediscover plans and road maps

All those who do not have a sense of direction have experienced the generalization of GPS as a deliverance! However this digital tool ends up impoverishing our spatial memory: what’s the point of developing a mental representation of a journey since the GPS is responsible for leading us? But if this memorization exercise was already a problem for us before, it will be even worse if we no longer practice it…

Even more boring: the systematic use of GPS also mortgages our episodic memory. “During the day, each time we move, “place” neurons are activated in our hippocampus. At night, these cells reactivate and replay the journeys of the day, as well as all the events related to them. – it’s the hippocampal replay phenomenon – thus feeding our episodic memory. By dint of using the GPS for the slightest journey, these “place” neurons tend to activate less because our brain no longer bothers to take visual cues”, describes Fabien Olicard, mentalist.

– We try… de stand out our city plans and road maps (at least once in a while)!

“While the GPS only gives us a route from point A to point B, the map reveals the names of the villages we will pass through, the names of rivers, forests, etc. We may recognize some of them crossed during readings, reports or conversations. We will store this information in connection with others and enrich our knowledge”, observes Francis Eustache.

Read also> I boost my memory. Lesson 2: How to Remember Names

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Forget (a little) Wikipedia… and retain new knowledge

Enriching one’s general culture by forcing oneself to constantly learn new knowledge may seem absurd in the age of Wikipedia. And yet no, far from it! “Going to the Internet to find an answer to a question we are asking ourselves is a good reflex in itself. But what are we going to do with it next? Perhaps read it quickly, follow a link that is suggested to us, then yet another. In other words, we’re going to to surf on the Net! From this superficial approach, our memory will retain nothing.. In contrast, if we read and re-read the answer carefully, if we wonder what it evokes in uswhat other close knowledge we already have on this subject, if we wonder how we could explain this to someone else, with what words, there is then a high probability that we retain this information.

– We try… ddeepen a subject

Here, the individual does not just follow links: he decides to deepen and seek relevant information according to his free will. He does not allow himself to be dominated by external memories” emphasizes Francis Eustache. To carry out this process, which requires investment and rigor, it is wise to find a motivation: for example, to acquire knowledge about plants, their names, their needs, because we intend to start gardening!

Read also> Help, I can no longer concentrate!