This is a talk on the science and subject of memory.
One definition of memory is the ability to restore a past thought or action or process..
There are different types of memory, Genetic, chemical, geological, physical, computer and brain are just some types.
[A digression Show two tabletops of 8 objects and tell a story about each of the objects on one table -test at end of meeting.][mobile phone, number on mobile phone 4 numerals, coin, 20 cents, toy car needing parking [colour]. pack of playing cards king of clubs on top, golf ball, battery [brand]
second, a list of names and numbers,
Third a list of our Councillors [gen knowledge]
Memory does not need a brain of the sort we are used to thinking of when we think of a brain. Human memory arises from the working of a brain which has evolved over 2 billion years. Memory for life forms arises out of necessity. It would be perfectly valid for a life form to exist which had no brain or programming but just rolled around eating up everything in sight and dying when it wandered into a bigger one or rolled off an edge.
Being self reproducing [memory by accident or design] is enhanced by having a routine ability to find resources for renewal and being able to avoid or overcome dangers. At a cellular level this meant adapting sensors for the environment. touch, taste hearing sight and smell.
Having ways to react through movement, rolling sliding swimming propulsion; Disguise, Defence, cell walls spikes poison shells and means for attack teeth claws horns poison, electricity etc.
Plus a way to combine the the two.
Senses and action linked by thought. Thought requiring memory to work most effectively.
It might be possible to have such mechanisms without memory. Many actions of life forms still use processes which overcome the vagaries of chance, consider baby turtles, coral spores and pollen for instance. Millions of life forms but only a few able to survive.
But having a memory of the previous interaction helps both future hunting/harvesting and avoiding dangers. Memory originated at a cellular level. The cells lay down rules for action from their RNA/DNA and enforce them through a value adding system.
This is either pleasure or pain. The underlying drive is need, necessity, food and safety and reproduction. This is enhanced by a system of sub needs. avoidance of pain, inquisitiveness fear anger which at our level manifest as emotions.And emotions provide the motivation for thoughts and actions. Memories affect our emotions which in turn drive us to think .
Returning to memory. It is the ability to recall past events thoughts and emotions plus to do tasks, both repetitive like breathing and eating. Having memories is consciously or unconsciously using the brain to rerun thoughts through the brain. Hence one can have both real and virtual memories and even memories that are imaginary.
From what we have said several things drive the ability of a person to use their memory and in trying to use it effectively. One of course is the size and the other the ability of the “chip” Having a large register is impressive, It shows a good correlation between awareness, attentiveness and storage and recall. But more important is how the brain uses the memory and in this regard some people are born with sharper state of the market working components. Hence they can recall and think better than other people. Most of us fall in the normal range. We can all read write and recall with moderate ease. This ability does reduce as we get older and marked failings in some people leads to Demerntia.
This is very simple. We all have areas in which our recall is not as good as it could be. Names of people. Car keys and wallets for men, mobile phones and purses for women. [sexist] The whereabouts of food items in the kitchen and fridge. Where the bills are, the clothes are and lastly the password combinations.
To improve one’s memory you really have to want to improve it enough to take the steps to do so. Just like losing weight. Developing the desire or need to do it.
Next is application. actively improving the memory. It can be done without desire but is much weaker in that case. Here is where concentration comes in. Being more alert.
At two steps. One in recognising an alert situation, e.g. being introduced to new people and learning their names.
People who do not remember names do so for a variety of reasons. Shyness, Diffidence, not wanting to really expand their contact horizon, fear of embarrassment, sight and hearing problems. In fact they actively work unconsciously at forgetting names. How else to explain that their memory works extremely well elsewhere? This blindness or amaurosis needs work at both the psychological level and at the physical level.
Making it a pleasure great, new people to meet. Then using standard memory tips. Focusing, Listening carefully to their names, repeating their names back to them at the time of introduction and on leaving. Looking at them for distinguishing signs. Shoes, glasses, hair colour, cut and age for instance. If possible [in this day of mobile phones writing it down and send a message to yourself.]
Putting the person into a story line to yourselves with something unusual particular to their names . And, if you have the spare time, recalling and repeating the names.
Will it work? With lots of practice and a desire to make it work.
That is the simple answer to developing memory.
Needing to do it
Wanting to do it
Focusing and concentration,
Hearing and Observing
Writing it down.
Now writing it down can be difficult so an advanced memory technique is to write it down in your brain,, Tied in to association techniques. I have done one of these for our Italian classes, No one is currently using it but that might change after this talk. This technique is not unique and anyone who is very interested can do further reading of a young man called Oddjob Bjorn.
You have to imagine a place you already know and can easily recall. For most this would be the family home or childhood home, others the office, others for the shoppers amongst us the city of Shepparton and its shops, houses or churches pubs and streets.
You put the first person introduced into the first room in your house. You make up a story with some aspect of their name.
Smith, A bulky navvy working at a fiery forge greets his long lost Brother/sister, John who has morphed into a replica of long John Silver with hook for hand , parrot on shoulder and eye patch. He takes your next introductee, Sue Jones into the next room where a whale [Jonah] is floating in the bath tub with the little figure in the whales mouth is yelling. I want a lawyer, I want to sue. etc
Note the more ridiculous the image, the better it will stick especially if you make some stock ones up yourself. When you make these images add the details to the character. Red socks? Have the pirate with one red sock pulled down.Long black hair a vest coat of the same colour as Mr Smith’s shirt.
1 room is adequate for
We are born with a set number of brain cells although the brain does increase in size until bone growth stops this is bulk not number of cells., We lose up to 200,000 cells a day which on a backdrop of 86 billion brain cells is not that significant over 90 years 30,000 days 6,000,000,000 [The cells of the brain include neurons and supportive glial cells. There are more than 86 billion neurons in the brain, and a more or less equal number of other cells.]