Today, we know a list of scientists who have fully utilised human memory. In this era of technology, we are hampering our memory by being dependent on gadgets and setting reminders for small tasks. We hear about short-term memory loss because we are not exercising or engaging our memory enough. We have to figure out ways to utilise our memory.
Types of Memory
Before going further, we should know about the various types of memory; the following are the memory types we are aware of as of today:
1. Muscle Memory
Muscle memory stores a specific motor task into memory through repetition. Simply put, when completed on repeat, our brain stores the mechanical procedure of doing a task.
2. Sensory Memory
This memory holds sensory information for brief periods, say 1 second or less. Processing other memories and reports begin in this type of memory only.
3. Short-Term Memory
With the help of this memory, a person can recall a limited string of information for a short period. These memories disappear quickly after 30 seconds. This short-lived memory can only hold a few bits of information.
4. Long-Term Memory
This memory stores a wide range of memories and experiences. Most people recall any information older than 30 seconds as part of this memory.
5. Working Memory
This memory is similar to the short-term memory explained above. But here, a person manipulates information.
6. Eidetic Memory v/s Photographic Memory
Eidetic memory involves the visualisation of a situation, combining it with various sensory aspects. However, eidetic memory is interchangeably used for photographic memory. They are different, and photographic memory may be defined as the ability to recall numbers and pages of text in great detail without visualisation.
There are various Memory games available around you that can improve brain functions; listing down some games:
- Sudoku: Without this game, our childhood memories are not complete. In this game, there is a 9 x 9 grid with numbers appearing in some squares. We have to fill the blanks using all the numbers 1-9 exactly once in each row, and the column and the nine 3 x 3 sub-grids make it an exciting brainstorming exercise.
- Ticket to Ride: This game involves critical thinking, making it strategic as well as a memory game, and helps sharpen your necessary thinking skills. You will have to connect all the cities through railway routes in this game. You can score the highest points by matching the train cards and accomplishing missions and objectives. A player with the highest points and longest routes will win the game.
- Chess: Chess is an Indian-originated game through “Chaturanga” around the 6th century CE. This game plays a vital role in improving your mental health as well as physical fitness. In this game, we have to put the opponent’s king in an inescapable position on the board, with other rules of movement of each piece on the board.
- Monopoly: It requires patience and understanding. In this game, you have to memorise various rules and guidelines but recall your opponent’s strategies. It improves concentration, focus, and memory. You can learn business strategies through a game.
- Pandemic: In this game, your memory retention should be excellent to survive. In this game, the only opponent is a Pandemic; other players cooperate to win the battle against the Pandemic. In this game, you have to guard yourself and try to stop the disease from spreading, and this can be done by strategising with the co-players.
Before discussing the memory test further, the first question arises why it is necessary to pass such a test. Memory tests are conducted by the Neurologist, who will ask various questions to identify your memory capacity in the short and medium term. This is essential to prescribe you the memory exercises that would help you to retrieve information. The memory test contains a list of questions relating to various aspects, such as testing your concentration, communication, sense of direction, and questions about space.
Memory Care and Memory Care Activities
Special care and a safe environment with routines provided to the person with Alzheimer’s to lower their stress levels is what we can call memory care. Following is a list of memory care activities:
- Singing and Listening to Music: Listening to old songs is a nostalgic moment for everyone and relaxing activity for our brain. Singing helps to store memories and is an activity that boosts your confidence when performed along with your family, friends, or at informal social gatherings.
- Puzzle Solving: This is a timeless activity and keeps the mind trained on finding each piece and putting it in its place. We have to make sure about the difficulty level of this game by considering the criticalness of the mental disease of a particular person.
- Knitting: In Indian culture, this activity is connected to a female family member. But this is a beautiful activity for older adults, both men, and women, which keeps the mind engaged for extended periods without overstimulating.
Memory care programs
Here we are suggesting some activities through which a person who has Alzheimer’s would recover in a faster manner, especially when they have the company of family, such as:
- Gardening Activities
- Playing cards along with tea
- Brushing their hair
- Making a family collage
- Talking more about their subjects of interest
- Giving a hand massage with lotion
- Cooking their favourite food
- Playing some favourite music tunes on a musical instrument
Which Food Helps Sharpen One’s Memory?
As in the Indian culture, there is a proverb ‘right food; proper exercise will make your brain stable and focused’. Although the activities mentioned above and games are essential, equal consideration should be given to the food we consume. Following is a list of some food items that you should intake:
- Turmeric: It has several benefits for the brain. Curcumin, the ingredient in turmeric, has been proven to cross the blood-brain barrier, and it helps brain cells grow and eases depression which may benefit memory.
- Broccoli: It is high in vitamin K content; it helps in forming sphingolipids (fat that is densely packed into brain cells).
- Pumpkin Seeds: This is a rich source of zinc, copper, iron, and magnesium. All these elements are highly beneficial for your mental health.
- Soaked Nuts: Nuts improve your heart health; having a healthy heart is directly linked to having a healthy brain. Soaking nuts overnight make them easy to get neutralised in our body and absorb more fats and proteins.
Oranges: They contain a massive amount of vitamin C, which is a crucial factor in preventing your mental health from declining. It is a powerful antioxidant that fights against free radicals and prevents brain cells from being damaged.
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The brain in the human body is proportionally larger than the other creatures on the earth. The human brain is a miraculous gift to human beings, and memory is a boon because, without it, we cannot even think or take any informative decisions in our lives. But everything in the human body, if not gets utilised without proper nutrition, would waste our gift. This article suggests how you can use the memory power to its highest levels and how to help a person get out of their mental disease.
What is memory size?
An average human brain can store 2.5 million gigabytes of digital memory.
Where is memory in the brain?
Hippocampus – is located in the brain’s temporal lobe.
What are memories made up of?
It is only the reactivation of a specific group of neurons.
How long eidetic memory does last?
Eidetic memory lasts for a limited period – generally seconds for most people. For some, it might stay in minutes, hours, or days.
Is an eidetic memory a real thing?
Many claim this memory’s existence, but science has never found a single case to verify it.