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How your brain likes to be treated at revision time | Education |

Here are some interesting tips on memorizing information from a neuroscience students.
How your brain likes to be treated at revision time | Education |
In his first point, he talks about mnemonics.
“The mnemonic is providing you with a cue but, if you haven’t memorised the names, the information you want to recall is not there. You’re just giving your overflowing hippocampus yet another pattern of activity to store and retrieve.”
As some of you will know, I’m a huge fan and use them for pretty much everything in my NLP training. I believe that they are a powerful way to keep whole processes and large amounts of information within easy cognitive reach. It is so easy to refer to a book or the Internet for information, but it is only when we have it in our heads that we can make the creative links between disparate bits of information, at both a conscious and an unconscious level. For example, most people aren’t connected to Google as they sleep 🙂
His point is a good one–remembering a mnemonic without knowing the underlying meanings isn’t a whole lot of use. Yet, it is a powerful first step because it alerts us to the fact that we have incomplete information and can then start a search of our memories for that missing information. For example, if you’re using the SPECIFY mnemonic and you can remember all except the ‘P’, you at least know that you are missing the ‘P’ and can begin to guess or try to remember what it is. By having this information gap, you are able to search for something that you may have learned once.
Of course, it is better to remember it all perfectly, but we have all had times where we can’t remember some bit of information and then it pops into our mind a few hours later long after we have forgotten that we had forgotten something. Clearly, the unconscious mind was continuing to search through our memories and found the information somewhere.
If you didn’t learn the information at all in the first place, it’s not likely to be there, but having a mnemonic gives us a powerful map of a large amount of information without imposing much of a cognitive load.

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