It’s true that as we age; our reaction time and physical abilities change. And along with these changes are the changes we see in our brains. Suddenly, we enter a room and can’t remember what we went in there for. Or we have trouble remembering where we put our car keys.
While seemingly small annoyances, the above can be signs of future deterioration of brain tissue and may signal the early onset of illnesses which affect the brain, including dementia and Alzheimers. While there may not be any significant treatments or cures for illnesses of the brain, there are things that we can do now while we are younger to help strengthen it. And these days, technology most definitely plays a significant role.
The Many Ways Your Brain Remembers
Chunking is another method we commonly use to remember things, many times without knowing it. If you’ve ever mentally grouped the items on your grocery list to specific sections of the store, then you’ve engaged in chunking. Chunking allows us to make sense of randomly-listed items.
Association is the most common way to practice memory improvement. By associating something with something that makes sense to you, your brain is able to relate to that each time you think about it. So if you’re trying to remember Dexter Street, you may associate it with the television show to make remembering easier. Really, there is no limit to the associations you can make. But creating mental images that will be memorable is key. So being as vivid as possible will allow you to strengthen your associations.
While cramming may be a common way for many students to study last-minute, it may not be as effective as many may think. Remembering in this way does help you to pack in the information, but only to your short-term memory. And each person’s short-term memory is different, which can mean that cramming may not be enough to get by on that next-morning test.
Spaced repetition learning happens when you take the time every few days to repeat information to yourself. Spaced repetition is effective because humans remember those events and things which we have most recently encountered. So refreshing the information every few days keeps it recent.
Does Brain Game Technology Really Work?
While there are many products on the market that promise to help you be able to remember things 120% better with regular usage, and many studies have been done which examine the benefits of training the brain, very few have explored if they are long-lasting benefits that translate into something humans can use in their daily lives.
One study, conducted by the Mayo Clinic, had promising results. Those older adults who trained their brain actually saw an improvement in the speed of their auditory information processing by 58%.
The results of studies like the one above not only show that technology can positively impact the brain, but may also positively impact other cognitive abilities. However, which abilities are impacted may be a direct result of which skills were emphasized during training.
Cognitive Fitness May Equal Disappointing Improvements
If you are already cognitively fit, then you may not see the results you were hoping for in a computer brain training suite. Called the ‘ceiling effect’, it could manifest itself in minute score improvements, causing unnecessary panic about early onset mental illness. The same is true for those who become tired or bored early on in a brain training game.
The truth is that, as mentioned above, no type of brain game technology can prevent the onset of any illness affecting the brain. Nor will any brain game reverse the aging of your brain cells.
The Bottom Line Of Brain Training
When it’s all said and done, training your brain using technology won’t put you at risk for harm. You may find your wallet a little bit lighter, however. And the bonus is that you may not only get help for your brain, but for other cognitive abilities which can result in long-term benefits for you.
Guest author Elizabeth Brosuga writes on a variety of topics, particularly related to technology. Check out the information she has helped assemble at http://www.highspeed-internet-providers.com/.