How to boost his memory ? The most effective techniques to remember everything (or almost)

I have it on the tip of my tongue…” This feeling of a word that does not come, we often experience it. But we really start to worry when it seems to repeat itself. Do not panic. In his book Memory, how to keep it and develop it, doctor Marc Schwob is reassuring. These little blackouts happen at any age, at the rate of about once a week. The frequency has been seen to increase over the years, but it’s not necessarily a sign of decline.”It is a transitory phenomenon and without consequence, he insists. But it generates intense frustration. However, 96% of forgotten words are found, often unexpectedly.“Why does this happen? “Often this occurs when too much information has to be processed. If you have too many elements, you get lost.

Example: “In which book does this scene take place, where a pharmacist is jealous of the doctor, and the woman finds herself in a carriage with her lover who has a large castle”. In 5 minutes, when we will no longer think about it, the tragic destiny of Madame Bovary will resurrect in our brains. “Our brain can also focus on screen words, which block the emergence of the true notion. Annoyance, the conviction that the right answer is about to emerge are also the very origin of the blockage.“Don’t panic, then.

Sébastien Martinez, champion of memory, denounces digital tools in his book Memory is a game. He notes with neurologists that these tools give us the feeling of having all the knowledge in our pocket. Therefore, we memorize much less. It has been shown for several years that memory changes: the brain remembers where it found the information rather than the information itself.

Another poison… Distraction. Since you opened your eyes, how many times have you looked at your laptop screen? Are you able to answer this question? Consulting the screen becomes a reflex and an addiction, because the likes or the messages generate emotions, the pleasure of reward. We memorize more the “hello” received on WhatsApp than the activity report we are processing! If pleasure and motivation are essential ingredients for retaining content… let’s take them into this exercise. Easier said than done? Sébastien Martinez insists on the timing. We concentrate too long! Intense attention never lasts more than 50 minutes. Then comes the descent. We saturate. “You have to stop when you are still attentive, positive, to want to go back. Cut the working time into sequences of 25 minutes, interspersed with 5 minutes of break.“What other memory-in-the-round impediments can be noted? Fatigue, stress, lack of physical exercise, unbalanced diet, video games, depression, certain medications, hypertension, cardiovascular concerns…

Signs that can cause alarm

It is normal to forget your keys, not to know where you parked your car in the car park or to be unable to remember the first name of the colleague you met in the canteen the previous week. These processes call on short-term memory… Specialists have listed attitudes which are more problematic because they manifest an impairment of semantic (long-term) memory: having difficulty doing two things at once ( when we got there before); getting lost in familiar places; not immediately recognizing relatives; repeat the same questions; no longer knowing how to use everyday objects (washing machine, etc.); forgetting the function of certain objects; getting lost in family ties; put things away in weird places (the remote control in the fridge, etc.). If some of these symptoms recur, consult your general practitioner (before going to the neurologist). And most importantly, don’t panic. All specialists agree with Dr. Anne Corbett of the Alzheimer Society: “If the state of your memory worries you, it’s a good sign!”Patients suffering from Alzheimer’s generally do not come to consult on their own. It is the relatives who notice the troubles and bring them on.

Champion neurons

To assess your immediate memory, test yourself with these sets of numbers. Try to memorize them, then restore them after about ten seconds. If you fail, try again with the second set. If, again, you cannot restore order, you have reached the limits of your immediate memory span.








The average is 7 digits. Memorizing without meaning is extremely difficult. In a TedX conference in Clermont, Stéphanie Mazza, researcher at the University of Lyon, recalls the effectiveness of mnemonic devices: “Try to memorize 2 7 1 2 9 3. Not easy… Unlike 27 December 93, it’s easier”. Also appeal to the imagination. Sébastien Martinez proceeds by association of ideas and above all of visual images. How to remember that Tirana is the capital of Albania? “By relying on sounds. Tirana reminds me of a piranha. Albania, ban. I visualize a small piranha banished from its clan. All alone. I imagine cold water… To remember the geographical location of Albania, I associate its shape with a carrot. I imagine the piranha eating the carrot.” It’s the same for a face: associate the first name with an image. “Catherine reminds me of a cat. I visualize Catherine with a cat on her head.

So as not to blockade

One in 5 students would take dietary supplements to boost their memory. These capsules are mainly active on fatigue (and through the placebo effect). If you are looking for solutions to really make studying easier, prefer expert techniques instead. For the “by heart”, take inspiration from the daily life of the actors. Cédric Coomans, comedian in different languages: “I played a piece that was a real puzzle, Leave A Comment, made up of comments from Internet users on Youtube, in three languages, in French, Dutch, English. There was no connection between the sentences, but the information was repeated, in different formulations. I used a speech therapist method. First of all, I read all my text carefully. Then I transcribed it, condensed: I wrote all the sentences, but keeping only the first letter of each word (and the punctuation). This exercise helped me integrate the content. Then I used this cheat sheet exclusively. Very quickly, my brain filled in the blanks. I had a visual imprint in mind, it was much easier”. For spelling purposes, copying a word three times after dictation is not effective (especially since the child daydreams while scratching his lines). Logopedic rehabilitation adopts another, multisensory approach: first, write the word, once, large; then, hide it; then trace the letters in the void, with the finger; spell out loud; rewrite; check that it has been spelled correctly.

Fabrice Hambersin, professor of copyright at the Haute École Albert Jacquard, regularly coaches his students in memorization. “The first thing I advise in a theoretical course with practical application is never to work the day before. In law, every word counts. And you can’t rely on your short-term memory, because you risk mixing everything up! The correct method requires two periods of study. You have to allow yourself time to digest. I recommend doing summaries first. Then to walk around mentally repeating what we saw. Then read again. Sleep is also a valuable ally. In the evening, before going to sleep, it’s good to review what we have covered during the day. Then we dream about our material. And in the morning, before getting up, we fix by repeating again before moving on.

For language learning, Delphine Nahoé, professor of French as a foreign language at EPFC and trainer at UCL, sounds the death knell for vocabulary columns: “The most innovative methods work on vocabulary through mindmapping. The words are classified by subject. Throughout the course on a subject, everyone builds their map by gradually adding terms, arranged according to the field. Example, for housing, we will note bedroom, then add bedside table, wardrobe… We add synonyms, descriptive adjectives (calm, dark…). Some mindmaps are illustrated. It is visual and participatory. And above all, when we study a language in the language, without recourse to translation, we remain immersed in this language.”. For formulas, rules, dates… Display! On the sidelines of the exercises, Sonia Lévêque, maths teacher, advises to take advantage of her space… “Display in the toilet, in the bedroom, in the background, the formulas to remember, the metalanguage, etc. Every time we daydream, our eyes fall on it…” Finally, for history or science, re-explain what you have just learned to someone who knows nothing about it. This transfers matter, anchors it in logical links and above all gratifying emotional memories (the other understood thanks to me).

In Belgium, the neurology departments of 12 major hospitals in the country have memory clinics. Info: (sub-section Establishments and care centres, Specialized centres).

Memory is a game, what you need to know to know everything, Sébastien Martinez, Premier Parallèle, 259 p.
Memory, how to preserve and develop it, Marc Schwob, Odile Jacob, 292 p.
Memory and academic success, Alain Lieury, Dunod, 208 p.

Potting in music?

Teens claim that Lomepal boosts them to work. Musicologists see Mozart as a neuronal booster. Alain Lieury, in his book Memory and school successmake the point: “Only vocal music is troublesome for memorization. Instrumental music does not significantly decrease performance compared to silent learning conditions”. But it does not particularly improve it either. However…”The learning of knowledge, history, French, biology drops very sharply (between 67% and 37%) when listening to vocal music and television. […] Words from songs or TV are processed and stored in lexical memory and semantic memory, which then do two things at the same time (memorize and listen to the song). There is cognitive competition.“Also remember that a student gets an average of 13 out of 20 when he has learned in peace. But only 9 or 8 when working in front of the TV.

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