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13 Tips for Mega-Memory and Concentration
First You Have to Focus

From The Practical Brain Maintenance Handbook

SADDon’t buy this one
“I can so do my homework better with the TV or radio on.” Smart kids would get an even better grade without it. Any speech or speech-like sounds automatically use up part of your brain’s attention capacity, whether you are aware of it or not.

Everybody forgets what they went into the
next room to get

It isn’t a problem with memory. Usually, it’s a matter of something psychologists call interference or divided attention. If you step on the cat you forget the drink of water you got up for.

A trick to recall what you just forgot
Trace your movements back in your mind. Picture what you were just doing and where you were. Work back inside your memory step by step until you find it. Pop! You will remember why you are standing there with the fridge door open.

The “White Noise” machine
White noise is a blended spray of sounds representing the entire range of audible frequency. Since it has no patterns to it your brain ignores it easily. Machines that generate white noise mask other potentially distracting sounds. A TV set is not white noise unless the sound is off and the screen is in another room.

Why you can’t remember the first film of a double-feature
One meaningful bunch of information often gets temporarily blanked out by the next batch you try to learn. That interference is only temporary; take breaks so that the facts you are studying won’t interfere with one another as you study them. Interference also works the other way. For example, when your friend gets a new telephone number, the old one will still be so familiar to you that it’s hard to remember the new one right away.

Where young brains have an edge
For anyone, it can be difficult to pay attention to more than one thing at once. That’s especially true if the two things are similar. Experiments with divided attention tasks show that the ability to filter out distractions and juggle competing demands on our attention is one of the most fragile kinds of skill we possess. The ability to cope with this kind of task typically begins to decline between ages 30 and 40.

Don’t study on an empty stomach
Glucose improves memory, even for people with Alzheimer’s. That’s why memory formation is better after a meal. But eat light at lunch if you work all day. Digestion robs fuel from the brain.

Working memory workout
Here’s a departure from your usual routine for solving a crossword puzzle. Try it with a relatively easy puzzle. Go through the clues and figure out as many of their solutions as you can in your head, without filling them in. Then cover the clues and try to fill in the grid from memory.

Use it or lose it
The kinds of skills that tend to weaken with age are ones that, at any age, must be used to maintain them. Your brain adds physical capacity, just as your other physical systems do. Capacity grows when you work hard. You can get your brain back “in shape” but it won’t stay there without regular effort. That’s a spiral that can go up or down, depending on the choices you make.

What do “photographic” memory geniuses have going for them?
People who use memorization tricks often seem to have a bigger memory. They worked to learn data that helps them shortcut long calculations, for example. Or they develop visual memory so they can visualize the objects that words represent. Tricks that improve everyday performance do not, as a rule, improve the brain’s automatic ability to store and recall data. On the other hand, if the tricks become automatic and habitual, people who use those tricks do have a good memory in practice.

Pills for better memory
Some research has found evidence that taking painkillers such as ibuprofen — collectively known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — protect against Alzheimer’s disease because they reduce inflammation in the nerve cells. Antioxidants, such as vitamin E also seem to help.

Visualize it if you want to remember it
Your brain knew how to remember what something looked like way before it learned what to name it. So use those primitive visual powers any way you can to tag new things you want to remember. Think of names and other words as shorthand for the real thing you can see in your mind’s eye.

   
Building Mental Muscle
Building Mental Muscle
Over 230,000 copies sold
in the USA alone, plus translations into 14 languages worldwide.

 
Brains that Work a Little Bit Differently
Brains That Work a Little
Bit Differently

2nd best seller. Used in college Psychology courses. ADHD, Left Handedness, Autism, DejaVu, Child Geniuses

 
Building Left-Brain Power
Building Left-Brain
Power

It handles the details, like language skills. Every-day tips to use what you learn. Mental exercises that, when done, release serotonin, a feel-good hormone.

 
Learn Faster and Remember More Learn Faster &
Remember More

Three guides in one: How skills develop and are maintained through life: 1. Womb to adolescence; 2. Professional Years; 3. Slowing down the slowing down
 
Brain Building Games Brain Building Games
With Words & Numbers

Skill-graded challenges: easy to hard, logic, numbers, crypto-visual plus tricks to maximize performance in every one (176 of them). Another top seller.
 
Use It or Lose It Use It or Lose It!
As the mind matures it begins to lose essential abilities unless.... it is forced to work. Then it builds connections again into old age.
 
Exercises for the Whole Brain Exercises for the
Whole Brain
A breast-pocket full of visual mental-teasers to work out in spare moments. Now in 13 languages. Especially good for designers and creative thinkers.
 
Right Brain TeasersRight-Brain Teasers
How many of these photos of 60 old-time, household artifacts can you figure out how they worked and what they were used for? This taps the visual-spatial skills in your right brain. (Men are surprisingly good at this). See an interesting, detailed description when you turn the page after each photo. A fun Valentine gift , especially for elderly antique collectors and flea-market addicts.
 
   
 
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