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Associations and Patterns

There is a myth that your memory has limited capacity and will some day simply “fill up.” But memory is not like a box or drawer; in fact, the more the brain is used, the more you learn, the more connections you make in the brain. Therefore, the more connections you make, the more connections you are able to make, and the easier it is to find and use information. Our brain is more like a scaffold, or a Tinker Toy structure than a box; you can add to this memory network throughout your entire life, each new item you add connecting to existing ones.

Making associations and connections is a critical part of learning. Connecting new information to something that you already know is an essential part of successful learning. That’s one reason that it is easier to learn more about something you already have some knowledge of than it is to start on a completely different field. As you listen, read, or try to memorize material, and the more you consciously try to connect information to what you already know, the easier it is to store and retrieve when you need it.


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