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MEMORY
[please refer to FAQ index for more info about this new area]


Some of the questions we have received so far are shown below.


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Answers to the questions can be found further down this page. If you have a question that isn't dealt with here, why not e-mail me - himself (at) michaeltipper.com - and I'll see if I can help. Please note, however, that with an exceptionally busy schedule it isn't possible to reply to everyone who writes :)



1. What advice can you give for developing the visual memory skills of young children?

2. You seem to concentrate on the use of visual imagery for memory, what auditory systems are there?

3. I work in a court of Law as a translator and need to remember what is being said as I translate. Can you help?

4. I am doing a science project at school on Memory. Where can I get some information?

5. You have recommended Dominic O'Brien's Books in your reviews section but I can't seem to get hold of a copy. Why is that?

6. What Memory Books do you recommend?

7. Will my memory decline with age?


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ANSWERS to above questions:

1. A friend of mine who has 3 sons gives the following advice on developing visual memory skills - "the things I have found most constructive in developing visual memory with my own kids have been (a) circular jigsaws [for the usual colour-variations but also for the differently-shaped pieces] and (b) Solitaire ("patience") where there's a need to remember what's happening on all seven lines of cards. With the latter I taught first with actual cards then computer Solitaire (where they are aiming for a "higher speed") helps to make the process of remembering more automatic."

A visitor to the Project HappyChild website told me about something that helped him - "The one thing that helps me is this game I played as a child that involves a pack of cards on each of which is pictured an animal and its name, e.g. Leo the lion; each character occurs twice in the pack and the idea is that you deal the cards out face down before then turning over two at a time and trying to remember their position; when you can put two identical cards together they are eliminated; this goes on until you've eliminated every card."

Perhaps you can still get this game, or something similar, from your local toy shop.

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2. The majority of the books that I have studied (and please note that the extent of my research is far from comprehensive) on Memory Techniques have concentrated on visual systems that encourage the generation of imagery to assist in the memory process. None that I have read so far have explained a purely auditory technique. The reason for this I feel is that most of the books have been written by people who use and rely on visual systems. One or two of the more learned authors have recommended use of all of the senses in creating mental imagery but very little beyond.

The best reference that I can recommend is a book called "Accelerated Learning" by Colin Rose (Published by Accelerated Learning Systems Ltd ISBN 0-905553-12-8). This has about 8 pages on Sensory systems and examines the three learning styles (visual, auditory and Kinaesthetic). The techniques associated with knowledge of this styles have a wider application in human development and understanding in a field that is today known as Neuro Linguistic Programming. You may want to look at a couple of NLP books. I can recommend "Unlimited Power" by Tony Robbins.

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3. As I do not speak a second language myself (yet) I can only give you a couple of ideas that you might want to try. As far as practice is concerned, I would suggest that you only try and remember key words as someone speaks. For Example: "Well your honour, I was travelling down the highway late last Thursday and I was in my car with my brother Vinne and his girlfriend Delores. We were doing about 30mph and then all of a sudden, this truck appeared from nowhere, hit the rear of my car and forced us into a telegraph pole." As these words are spoken, if you pick out the key words like "highway", "brother", "truck" and "pole", you will only have 4 words to remember but the context in which they were spoken will be triggered by each of those words. That way you will have less to remember, but you will still be able to recall what was said. The other thing that I would suggest that you do in conjunction with picking out key words is to still take notes but to use a Mind Map (see the Project HappyChild website) instead of conventional notes.

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4. The best place to go is to a library, either the one you have at school or your local public library. I suggest that you look in the psychology section and any good text book in that area will give you lots of information. Your librarian will also be able to help you if you tell him or her exactly what you are looking for.

Another good source of information is of course the internet. I would recommend any book by Tony Buzan and there are also videos and books by Lana Israel (an American girl who did a project for a Science Fair in her 7th grade on memory!!!) which you will find reviewed on the site here. You might like to try out some of the techniques that I have written about on the HappyChild website.

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5. Unfortunately, since writing my reviews, Dominic's book "How to Develop a Perfect Memory" has gone out of print, and at this stage there are no plans to reprint. I do know that Dominic's agent has a stack of hardback versions of the book (as of Oct 99) that they will sell for 12.50 +pp. You will need to speak to Julie at Surefire Entertainment on +44(0)1763 848777. Unfortunately I don't have an e-mail address for Surefire.

Editor's note: See Michael Tipper's feature article in May 2002, "An Interview with Dominic O'Brien" which gives details of how to contact Dominic direct and a link to his website.

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6. If you have a look at the book review section you will see a range of books that will help you improve your memory. If you find any that are not on my list, please let me know so that I can add them to my collection.

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7. Excluding any serious mental illness, your ability to learn and remember should get better the older you get! The reason that most people think their memory or ability to learn is not as good as it was is purely because they have not used it as much as they once did. As a principle of memory is association with what we know and our experiences, the older we get, the more we know , the greater our experiences and so in theory, the more that we should be able to learn. Another reason for the apparent decline in mental performance is that as we get older we generally become less active (compared to our youth), less aerobically fit and so our brains receive less oxygen than it used to.

I would suggest that to convince yourself that you have fabulous mental potential at any age, you should read The Age Heresy by Tony Buzan and Raymond Keene (Published by Ebury Press ISBN 0 09 185150 5) which shatters all the myths about the so called limitations of the ageing process. If you are in the US (and I am not sure if the book has been published over there) contact Buzan Centres in Florida 407 881 0188, they may have copies.

You might also want to try using some of the memory systems I have written about on the Project HappyChild website to prove to yourself that your memory is and can be very good indeed.

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Frequently Asked Questions MIND MAPPING MEMORY SPEED READING GENERAL
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Silver Medallist in the World Memory Championships.
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