How to super-size your memory

10th Mar 2017

A group of researchers have found a way to super-size ordinary peoples' memory to match with memory champions' brains. 

fMRI scans of the brains of 23 world champions revealed that there was nothing particularly special in terms of anatomy, but they do show connectivity differences compared to ordinary peoples' brains. The neuroscientists were able to train people with ordinary memory skills to emulate the masters. 

The researchers split the learners into three conditions; mnemonic training, training not including mnemonic techniques and no training at all. After six weeks of training for 30 minutes each day, all subjects had another brain scan.

The results showed that the mnemonic training group went from recalling an average of 27 words out of 72 up to more than 60. This group also showed changes in brain connectivity. 

The researchers concluded that the benefits of these memory techniques could be useful for helping students remembering information for exams. Future research needs to be done to see if people experience global improvements in everyday memory, or if it only when the training strategy is applied consciously.

To read the full article, head to Neuron journal website.


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