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Memory is a skill. Like any skill, it can be improved with practice. With the right attitude, you can have fun learning to improve your ability to remember. You’ll be surprised how fast you will increase what you remember with practice.

Memory is nothing more than the storage and retrieval of information. In humans it is an information processing system consisting of three functions—sensory registers, short-term memory and long-term memory.

The sensory registers accept information from sensory organs (our eyes, nose, ears, etc.) and hold the information for only a few seconds. Because the sensory register time is so brief (less than five seconds normally), information has to be placed in storage for a conscious mental process to take place. Information received from the sensory register is first processed into short term memory and depending on the situation, either forgotten or sent to long-term memory. Short term memory maintains storage of information for only about 15 seconds unless something is done to capture it in long term storage.

During the course of this book, you will learn techniques which will help you maintain more information in your short-term memory. You will learn the importance of attending and focusing on what you want to remember and then acquire strategies such as, visualizing, associating, or substituting to recall and store greater amounts of information in short-term and long-term memory.

The final and most important objective in memory training is learning to improve your long-term memory. Experts believe that the human brain has an unlimited capacity for retaining information. However, what is remembered and how much of it can be recalled is determined by how we store and process the information. The various mnemonic (memory device) techniques you will be learning will help you increase the efficiency and effectiveness when you selectively transfer information from your sensory register, through short-term and into your long term memory.

These three structures and functions (sensory registers, short and long term memory) are continually at work. For example, a non-technical individual will probably have difficulty registering technical information so it can be stored properly in the short-term memory. Because of limited experience with technical data, the information would be poorly transferred to the long-term memory and probably incorrectly recalled when needed.

Think about being asked to recall information the next time you attend a meeting or listen to a discussion. Normally when you hear material that is personally not interesting or downright boring, you will not remember it. If instead, you make a point to pay attention and find a reason why you should be interested in this material, you’ll be surprised by how much better you remember it. You will be impressed about how much is retained and who knows, you might even learn something new!



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