2. How to improve brain memory

What is memory? Memory is a mechanism that records, stores, and classifies information, making its subsequent retrieval possible. Strictly speaking, we can identify it with the capacity to save but we already know that this saving is as important as the contents and structure of the information.

Forest of unicorns (Public domain image)
Forest of unicorns

How to improve any intellectual capability is always a recurrent topic. In this case, the first thing to keep in mind is the number of factors that influence the normal functioning of brain memory. Throughout this book, we will analyze the different types of memory according to the various perspectives and we will see how each of them has some characteristics that can help us improve the performance of memory.

A second and very important aspect is to understand that improving an intellectual or physical ability does not mean that a human can acquire the ability to fly or anything of the sort. It is to say, we must bear in mind that there are established aspects in the brain configuration due to genetics and the early development that act as limits to the intellectual power.

Instead of how to improve memory it would be better to say how to use this brain capacity in a way that its natural possibilities of learning are made the most of. From this point of view, the best advice is that an appropriate intellectual exercise will always be healthy. However, we should remember that even if we are not studying the lists of elements, or the Visigoth kings, or the rivers and their tributaries, normally memory is always working because the brain does not tend to cease so often.

For this reason, when I say exercises, I am referring to something other than a memorizing effort to remember everything all day. With the general educational system, I believe that the human memory is sufficiently exercised at least while attending school or university; furthermore, it seems that it is generating a certain accelerated evolution of the human brain capacity from one generation to another.

I would like to point out that a great part of brain memory is attained unconsciously and we do not have many ways of manipulating it except facilitating the conditions of its performance or, better said, trying not to interrupt its normal functioning.

The entire third book of the Global Cognitive Theory deals with how to improve brain memory; nevertheless, I want to cite the following aspects here for their special significance:

  • Memory works much more efficiently when learns something in a pleasant and relaxed environment. We all know that memory is selective and that we remember pleasant things much better and that we hardly remember the bad times; this effect is bigger the older the memories are.

  • A complementary yet opposite aspect is that, when we are nervous, memory works very poorly, confusing almost everything. It is important to discuss certain topics with as much calmness as possible, because otherwise, objective information starts to become confused, and there is no human way to reason or understand the emotions.

It seems as if the large quantity of resources that the memory manager was consuming were not free, that it would not work adequately.