This is simply the ability of one mind as an individual to organize learned information and the events of past activities in order to retrieve them in the later future when required. In psychology, memory is defined as one’s inherent ability to receive information, assimilate it by storage and eventual recall when needed. It is described as a mental organism. Memory is divided into three types based on ability to recall within a given period and the length of material studied viz.
sensory memory, short term memory and long term memory. Sensory memory is the most volatile of all and scientists often assume it to be processed in connection with one’s intuitive capacity at the spinal level of the central nervous system. It is processed within an average of 15 seconds and lost almost immediately. Short term memory is the storing of information and recall within few minutes or seconds. According to modern findings, usually the material processed under short term memory is within the range of one to five words.
Long term memory is associated with permanent storage for weeks, months and years depending on the corresponding effort applied in the process of learning the required task. In general, different parts of the brain lobe are responsible for processing information through neurotransmitter communication between brain cells. The effectiveness of these brain tissues is thence dependent of the healthiness and interruption in case of any toxic substance intake. Good and healthy living right from the fetal level is important in ensuring a good brain function when one is of age.
According to a submission by Herrman et al, 1983, when “memory fails us, the mechanism results from one of the known three ways which include the failure to register the information and commit to memory, secondly through loss or acquired damage along the storage box and thirdly when there is disruption along the part of remembrance processing”. The first reason is often termed “pseudo-memory loss” since it was never processed for storage initially or the phase of storage is interrupted by another unplanned action.
Of every other actions involved in memory, it is important to note that attention allotment to the process of storing information is the chief action that determines more than 90 per cent of memory performance. The more attention paid when learning a task, the more the mastery of memorizing strategies or skills. Attention and memory are inseparable. Memory Strategies Basically, there are three reasons for developing efficient learning strategies.
It is important to first note that there is a need to raise self awareness of processes involved in memory, the understanding of ability or capability of own memory by itemizing its strength and inadequacies in order to forestall any psychological interference. And thirdly, there is the urge to meet constant requirement to develop a strategy that can counteract the likeliness of memory loss when needed. Advantage of proficiency in memory mastery is found in all spheres in life including academics especially in writing an examination.
More so, memory strategies add colors to one’s performance in organization, group and interpersonal relationships with people. In subsequent paragraph, we shall itemize some notable ways of improving memory function through some strategies. Visual Integration Strategy This entails extensive imaginary and physical representations of studied materials with the tool of the mind. Here, there is the creation of picture of active event relating to the materials under study. The picture adds more impression that make the whole brain actively involved in processing the storage of the information.
When more aspect of the brain are put to work at the same time, more networking are initiated to create a complex channels that can easily trigger memory from any junction in retrieval attempt. The use of drawings such as graphs, pictures, map, or flow chart aids some information processing in the brain (the cerebrum). This can even be in form of drawing a circle or rectangle. Visualization may take some minutes before getting a suitable imaginary representation, however, the more effort invested in it gives more advantage to facilitate the remembrance.
This practice improvement is dependent of constant engagement and past experience of an individual. Self Motivation Self motivation is of importance in preparing the brain for knowledge acquisition and storage. It is akin to the normal appetite and salivation that precede a favorite meal in a hungry individual. To activate the positive energy investment in learning, self arousal of the advantage of liberation from ignorance and the joy of fulfillment play roles. During the commitment of task to memory, the use of a general area of interest has been found to speed up memory through a sustained motivation.
For example, learners who admire a popular figure in the language being learnt can be motivated by relating memory processing in that direction. Each time the learner is reminded of the figure, motivation increases. Each learner can also be kept on positive swing mood during acquisition by a constant assurance of the easy nature of the study which only requires very shorter time than expected. Most category of learners feel bored when study is being prolonged; hence, materials need to be broken into different segment with short interval.
This will ensure cerebral revitalization at the end of each session before taking up next task. A study in a class of 30 students showed how learners retain task after 24 hours when made to perform repetitions at interval. The second group who did not perform the task at interval requires double the learning time spent by the first group in committing task to long term memory (Cheng & Dornyei, 2007). Learning Aids The use of objects/materials is of no doubt one of the best way to increase memory performance and quantity of study per time. Teaching materials result in increasing students’ motivation.
The use of audio-visual in learning academic materials for example, performs two tasks. One is the usual classroom teaching of audio just like listening to radio channel. The second is the acquisition of task in association with the learners observed response to the visual representation. Many studies have approved the use of audio-visuals for its evident large difference it makes in assisting memory among users and non-users of aids. Discussion, Rehearsing and Talking Strategies This easy step is most important especially for learners who enjoy talking to who cares to listen.
When academic materials are learnt or when lectures are received, researchers submit that a singular episode of first attention only results in assimilation of about 40% of the materials. Further effort is needed to increase the level of memory storage from short term memory to long term. The easiest way in a situation where there are many learners involved is the engagement in group discussion among participants. This is similar to a process known as fine tuning information or organization into a well structure that clears vague part.
When this process is consciously done with utmost attention as it were in the first exposure, there is assurance of improved memory function in processing, storing and retrieving the materials. Above all, there is nothing like constant review and revision to assess memory status. Tasks involving practical application needs to be demonstrated quickly before days past over the first time of contact with the information. When rehearing materials it is important to involve multiple sense organs. This practice is indispensable in preparation for presentation of lecture or public speaking.
It helps in organizing thoughts. Story telling is another way of remembering information in any subject. When materials needed to into memory requires restructuring and arrangement into a logical sequence, storytelling helps performance most task in the memory processing. As this involves a more or less descriptive narration, each step will activate the next line of thought and you need less worry in cramming the whole event. This is just like solving a mathematics problem. The understanding of the principle and formula activate the whole chains of working out the solution.
The Use of Mnemonics, Chunking and Acronyms Acronym is used to memory aid through representation of long sentence with the initials in order to make a pronounceable word or few words that can easily facilitate the remembrance of the whole sentence. This method is found useful in long term memory function though it is lacking in derivation of deep understanding of the subject matter. Mnemonics is usually used by kids who are not dyslexic. Chunking is practiced by determining a common pattern and grouping the information into three or four chunks at maximum.
Most times we use this to retain big words and numbers e. g. telephone numbers. Summarily, the interplay of many aspects of memory strategies provides the best performance. The requirements of knowing capability of one’s memory is also very important in order to understand the endowed efficiency and more importantly, the knowledge assist in ascertaining the appropriate memory strategy that is compatible with own system towards maximal output. References 1. http://www. muskingum. edu/~cal/database/general/memory. html 2.
http://www. examshack. com/index. cfm? fa=contentGeneric. goaintxvvbfxtrzn&pageId=223 3. Baddeley, A. D. (2000). The episodic buffer: a new component of working memory? Trends in Cognitive Science, 4, 417-23 4. http://school. familyeducation. com/educational-testing/sensory-integration/38391. html 5. http://www. bewell-dowell. org/sos/memory_training. html 6. Glenda Thorne (2006) 10 Strategies to enhance Students’ Memory, Available at: http://www. cdl. org/resource-library/articles/memory_strategies_May06. php? type=recent&id=Yes