How strong is the human memory?
Who is the person with the strongest memory in the world? According to the Guinness Book of World Records, this person is Dominic O’Brien – he can memorize 2,385 randomly generated numbers in 30 minutes and the order of a deck of cards in 26.8 seconds. In a challenge, Dominic needs to accurately memorize the sequence of 54 decks of poker (a total of 2808 cards are removed). It took him 3 hours to memorize these fully shuffled playing cards, and then he spent 1 hour sorting out the memories in his brain. Finally, he only spent 4 hours recalling the details of the 2808 cards. order. The challenge allows a 0.5% error, which means 14 cards are allowed to be wrong, but Dominique only got 8 cards wrong!
The study found that the brain structure of people with superior memory is no different from that of ordinary people, but the volume of the hippocampus of the former is larger than that of other people. In addition, people with better memories have stronger connections between the hippocampus and certain brain regions.
A strong memory is enviable, but sometimes being unable to forget is also a pain. A British boy remembers every meal he ate, the clothes he wore and everything he did for nearly 10 years. This kind of disease that remembers everything without distinction is called “hypermemory”. At present, there are more than 80 people suffering from this disease in the world, and scientists only published papers related to this disease for the first time in 2006. Patients with hypermemory are actually very painful. Although they have super memory, they have lost the ability to “forget”. Our normal memory mode is “active memory”. We can choose to remember only the things we want to remember and forget the unpleasant things. From this perspective, forgetting is actually a kind of self-protection.
Can you recall what you had for dinner last Tuesday?
If someone asks you what you had for dinner last Tuesday, you probably won’t be able to remember it; if someone asks you what you had for lunch on New Year’s Eve last year, even if you can’t blurt it out, you will be able to answer it with a little recollection. why is that?
Memory is actually the process of encoding (putting information into the brain), storing (keeping information in the brain) and retrieving (retrieving information from the brain when needed) information.
When the brain retrieves specific information from memory, certain neurons associated with specific cues are activated. As the activated signals are transmitted from various neural pathways to the nerves related to the target information, the relevant memory will quickly appear in the mind. Whether a memory can be successfully retrieved depends on the connections between cues and cues. If the number of cues associated with a memory is too small, you probably won’t be able to recall it.
When encoding, the more deeply information is processed, the more likely it is to be remembered for a long time. So, how are memories stored in the brain? Memories are stored in neuron-to-neuron connections, with each neuron having direct or indirect synaptic connections to every other neuron. After the memory is encoded and stored, the brain retrieves it when needed.
New Year’s Eve is an important and meaningful day, so when our brain stores memories, it will build up sufficient information between New Year’s Eve, lunch, which relatives and friends came, and what they did. contact. Such in-depth processing of information helps us recall it better. Conversely, the brain doesn’t make many connections when storing memories of last Tuesday, so it’s no wonder you can’t remember what you ate that night.
photographic memory, you can too
Research has shown that most people can develop stronger memories by training them in a similar way to those with the best memories. However, such memory training is not only time-consuming, but also not suitable for everyone. So, how can ordinary people effectively improve their memory?
When we read or watch a video, whenever we see a new content, point of view or knowledge point, we ask ourselves: “What content have I seen before? What is its internal logic? What can I associate with this content?” ?” What are the benefits of doing this? First, check whether you have missed some important information. Only by trying not to miss it can you truly absorb the acquired information as your own; second, understand things from a deeper level of logic, thus forcing your brain to build multiple connect.
The famous American physicist Feynman has done a lot of research on this. The learning method he proposed (called “Feynman learning method”) has been proved to be effective from generation to generation, and this learning method is not difficult: if we want to understand Or remember a principle or event, it is necessary to try to tell it to another person, and try to make the other person understand. This is because when we teach it, we may need to give examples, and we may also need to refine its key information and reconstruct its internal logic… We will use various relevant information of the brain for in-depth processing, so as to continuously strengthen the brain memory of it. For example, when we are learning the Pythagorean theorem, we can try to tell it to a 5-year-old child. If the other party can understand it, it means that you have a good grasp of the Pythagorean theorem and your brain has formed a check mark. It is difficult to forget the full connection of the stock theorem.
The brain is not so much for remembering as it is for thinking
Teaching instead of learning is the core of Feynman’s learning method
The brain is not so much for remembering as it is for thinking. Memorizing something by force is often difficult, but if you can understand something deeply, you will remember it better.
Does the “memory palace” method work?
The “memory palace” memory method is to fabricate a large palace with a complex internal structure in the brain. Every time you need to remember some information, try to form these memories into a picture and place them in a specific area of the “palace”. In the future, when you need this information, you can recall specific areas in the “Palace”. For example, a green velvet chair in the restaurant has a note that says “Li Si’s birthday is October 10th”, so when you think of this chair, you can remember that Li Si’s birthday is October 10th. However, in life, we need a rich body of knowledge more than repeating details. If you are interested, you can try to train according to this method, but don’t expect too much from it.