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Brain is the centre of all learning and experiences and cognitive skills are the core skills required to process the information. Cognitive skills like Memory, Logical Thinking, Attention Span, and Learning Ability are critical to performing any task, simple or complex. Cognition requires multiple areas of the Brain to function simultaneously. It is not your AGE that counts but your BRAIN.
In order to help improve your cognitive capability, do the following:
Working memory, which is a bit like the brain’s notepad, is where new information is held temporarily. When you learn someone’s name or hear the address of a place you’re going to, you hang on to those details in working memory up until you’re done with them. If they’re not useful anymore, you let go of them entirely. If they are, you commit them to long-term memory where they can be strengthened and recalled later.
Working memory is something we use every day, and it makes our lives a lot easier when it’s stronger. For most adults, the maximum we can hold in our working memory is about seven items, but if you’re not quite using your working memory to its max capacity, meditation is one thing you can try to strengthen it.
Drink coffee to improve your memory consolidation
Whether caffeine can improve memory if taken before learning something new is debatable. Most research has found little-to-no effect from ingesting caffeine prior to creating new memories. One recent study, however, found that taking a caffeine pill after a learning task actually improved memory recall up to 24 hours later.
Eat berries for better long-term memory
Another diet-related effect on memory is the mounting research that eating berries can help to stave off memory decline.
A study from the University of Reading and the Peninsula Medical School found that supplementing a normal diet with blueberries for twelve weeks improved performance on spatial working memory tasks. The effects started just three weeks in and continued for the length of the study.
A long-term berry study that tested the memory of female nurses who were over 70 years old found that those who had regularly eaten at least two servings of strawberries or blueberries each week had a moderate reduction in memory decline.
Exercise to improve your memory recall
Studies in both rat and human brains have shown that regular exercise can improve memory recall. Fitness in older adults has even been proven to slow the decline of memory without the aid of continued regular exercise.
In particular, studies show that regular exercise can improve spatial memory, so it’s not necessarily a way to improve all kinds of memory recall.
Of course, the benefits of exercise are numerous, but for the brain in particular, regular exercise has been shown to improve cognitive abilities beyond memory. So if you’re looking for a way to stay sharp mentally, taking a walk could be the answer. See how a quick walk ignites the brain in the scan below:
Chew gum to make stronger memories
Another easy method to try that could improve your memory is chewing gum while you learn new things. There’s been some contradictory research around this topic, so it’s not a solid bet, but a study published last year showed that participants who completed a memory recall task were more accurate and had higher reaction times if they chewed gum during the study.
One reason that chewing gum might affect our memory recall is that it increases activity in the hippocampus, an important area of the brain for memory. It’s still unclear why this happens, though.
Sleep more to consolidate your memories
Sleep has proven to be one of the most important elements in having a good memory. Since sleep is when most of our memory consolidation process occurs, it makes sense that without enough sleep we’re going to struggle to remember the things we’ve learned. Even a short nap can improve your memory recall.
In one study, participants memorized illustrated cards to test their memory strength. After memorizing a set of cards, they had a 40-minute break wherein one group napped, and the other stayed awake. After the break, both groups were tested on their memory of the cards – the group who had napped performed better:
Not only is sleep after learning a critical part of the memory creation process, but sleep before learning something new is important as well. Research has found that sleep deprivation can affect our ability to commit new things to memory and consolidate any new memories we create.
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