This game will give your short term memory a good developmental workout.
In this exercise you need to click on the buckyballs that you see light up in the order that they appear. Six is a good score in this game but it is infinitely long, a seven year old autistic boy was able to double my score! See below for other tips to improve your short term memory.
Memory and Age
The more you know about your memory, the better you'll understand how you can improve it. Our memories make us who we are but scientists still don't fully understand exactly how we remember or what happens in our brains during recall. The search for how the brain organizes memories and how those memories are received and stored is ongoing.
As you get older it is more common for you to develop memory gaps, the "senior moments" make us worry we are developing Alzheimer's disease but this does not have to be the case. It's important to keep in mind that there are a variety of factors that can cause memory problems, from stress and depression to vitamin deficiencies and circulatory problems.
How Memory Works
There are three types of memory;
- sensory memory
- short-term memory
- long-term memory
The recall game primary tests your short term memory. The part of the brain primary associated with short-term memory is the prefrontal lobe. It is much bigger in humans than it is in apes who have receding foreheads. Short-term memory is the workbench of our consciousness, it includes our awareness of sensory input, feelings and thoughts that are experienced. The short-term memory is sometimes referred to as working memory.
Thousands of times a day you need to keep some small piece of information in your head for just a few seconds. Maybe it is some numbers you are comparing, or a story you want to tell as soon as the other person finishes talking. Either way, you are using your short-term memory.
The average person can hold only about seven (plus or minus two) unrelated "bits" of information in mind at one time. That's why it's easier to remember a seven-digit phone number than a longer number such as the ID number your driver's license.
The relatively transient nature of your short-term memory is actually beneficial because it allows you to discard unnecessary information. But it is fragile and easily disturbed by interruptions. If you're trying to remember a phone number and someone walks into the room and asks you a question, chances are you'll forget the number and have to look it up again.
How can I improve my (short-term) memory
Focus is often half the battle. You can see it in a classroom of children, the fidgety boy in the back of the class is just not going to take in the information as well as the bright eyed girl at the front of the class. I have found learning to give something your full attention is all about caring. I was shocked when a client I was mentoring once told me he had ADD (attention deficit disorder). I told him I was surprised because he had been such a good listener, he said he had no problem listening to me talk about his business because he really loved it.
One memory trick you could employ in a game like recall is to give an emotional significance to the position of the spheres. For example if it was always good the a sphere at the top lighted up and bad if a sphere at the bottom lighted up, then you are more likely to remember the pattern. Why? Because your brain is better at remembering things with more meaning. Card counters who can memorize the sequence of an entire deck of cards do this by giving all the cards personalities, then remembering the sequence as a story. The human brain is designed to deal with people not numbers.
Remember every-time you repeat something you make another copy of it in your brain. Remember every-time you repeat something you make another copy of it in your brain :-D I use this trick all the time, when I meet someone for the first time I try really hard to use their name in conversation as soon as possible. If I do get the opportunity I will not forget it as fast as I would have if I had not used their name.
Playing a game of chess everyday would be great for your short-term memory. A chess master can hold a unbelievable amount of strategies in their short-term memory. Crosswords or anything that involves a lot of possible options for your brain to juggle are great.
Well not really but it can be a lot of fun. If you have problems with something boring give it more meaning by mixing it with something random. For example if you are doing some math with the number 4387 then pretend the number tastes like lime ice-cream, I promise you will find it easier to remember and way more fun.
Be a lifelong learner
If your brain isn't getting sharper, it's getting duller. You don't have to do boring memorization exercises all the time to keep your memory in shape. Just keep learning new and challenging things and that will help your brain overall, including your memory.