Midlife Memory Episode 10

There’s no way around the fact that memory erodes as we get older. The hippocampus, the area of your brain responsible for building memory, loses 5 percent of its nerve cells with each passing decade. Plus, aging slows production of a neurotransmitter vital to learning and memory. Based on these facts, scientists once believed that a person’s mental ability peaked early in adulthood, then went downhill from there.

But over the last few decades, research has found that adults’ brains are still able to form new, memory-building neural networks in a process known as neuroplasticity. The reassuring latest thinking: With a little effort, anyone can boost their power of recollection. On todays show we will have fun with a few of these.

bread, eggs, apple juice, steaks, bagels, lettuce, ham, peanut butter, red wine
How many items from the above grocery list can you remember?  How many did you remember?  Got  a headache? Did you get 9/9?

Here’s a trick to help you: The Roman Memory Room

.. “The number one technique that we top memory athletes use is still and will always be the memory palace. If someone were to learn one thing, it should be that.”– that was Nelson Dellis, four-time USA Memory Champion


One of the best ways to memorize is by visual association, human are particularly skilled at this. A Memory Palace is simply a room, or a place that you know well enough that you can build associations to the things or places within the room. Your living room can become a Memory Palace.  Imagine yourself walking through your living room in a clockwise direction stopping at various places.  Let’s imagine you will see the following things: the tv set, the couch, the coffee table, the easy chair, the china cabinet, the window, the lamp, the stereo, the piano and the door.   We are now going to link the items on the grocery list to the 9 items in your living room. But how will I remember them all? Very simple.  Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 10.49.22 PM

Mind maps are a big great world of memory storage amplified. Mind mapping is one of the best ways to capture your thoughts and bring them to life in visual form. Beyond just note-taking, though, mind maps can help you become more creative, remember more, and solve problems more effectively. A mind map is basically a diagram that connects information around a central subject. I like to think of it like a tree, although it has more of a radial structure. In any case, at the center is your main idea, say, poetry, and the branches are subtopics or related ideas, such as types of poetry, famous poets, and poetry publications. greater levels of detail branch out from there and branches can be linked together.

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Be an active listener

Don’t cheat with things you already know A recent Swedish study found that adults who learned a new language showed improved memory for people’s names, among other things. Any activity that is practiced diligently, such as knitting or skiing, will likely have this effect, researchers say.

Use mnemonic devices

These are basically memory tools that give meaning and organization to a random group of words or concepts. They could be an acronym (BOG for “Buy oranges and grapes”), an exaggerated visualization (imagining a massive stethoscope to remember a doctor’s appointment) or a rhyme (to recall a co-worker’s name, I’d remember, “Ted has a giant forehead”).

Eat the right foods

Dr. Small’s book The Memory Prescription, which claims it works in just two weeks. Much like the Mediterranean diet, it’s heavy on produce, legumes, nuts and fish. It’s low on meat, since meat’s omega-6 fatty acids may contribute to brain inflammation, a possible underlying mechanism for Alzheimer’s. Refined sugars produce a similar effect, so they also need to be limited, or ideally, eliminated.