A. Read the text and match the following headings with the numbered sections of the text below. There is one extra
a. Play the name game
b. Use mnemonic memory aids
c. Develop routines
d. Pay attention
e. Recall by category
f. Make lists
1.A bit of forgetfulness is normal at any age. But by the time you reach your middle years, you’ve spent several decades remembering all kinds of trivia. Your mind now holds a wealth of details, so it may take a little longer to recollect a name or date.
Dr. Louis Caplan, M.D., neurologist-in-chief at Boston’s New England Medical Center, likens the brain to a filing system. “I think the older you get, the larger the filing cabinet, and the harder it is to retrieve information.”
“People who complain about their forgetfulness generally don’t have a serious neurological problem,” says he.
So don’t fret if your mind draws a blank from time to time. Instead, work on improving your memory with the following advice.
Remembering is an active process that requires a certain amount of concentration. Forcing yourself to pay attention is crucial to retaining facts, says Stanley Berent, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist at the University of Michigan Medical Center.
Boredom is probably the main cause of distraction. Anxiety, fatigue, pain, illness, and depression are other reasons people don’t pay attention. You can gauge your interest level by your body language. Are you looking around the room or staring at the clock? Asking the speaker a question makes you focus on the message.
2.You’ve just met someone for the first time and you’ve struck up a lively conversation. The only trouble is, you can’t remember this person’s name. To avoid this embarrassment, Dr. Berent suggests saying a new acquaintance’s name out loud three times.
When you’re introduced, make a point of repeating the name once. Then, work the name into the conversation again by saying, “Well, John, glad to meet you.” Lastly, think of a way to use the person’s name in another sentence, such as, “John, where do you live?”
3.You can devise a variety of gimmicks to help you remember people, places, dates, names, and things. These mnemonic devices can be either verbal or visual. For example, if you have a list of things to recall, take the first letter of each word and form a new word. If you need to buy milk, eggs, sugar, and salad, simply think of the word “mess”.
Using a more visual mnemonic device, Dr. Berentpictures the inside of his home during lectures. He “places” topics he wants to cover in different rooms. Then, he “moves” from room to room, discussing each topic along the way.
4.Even people with good memory need written reminders now and then. “Nothing can substitute for a written list,” says Dr. Berent. List-making serves two purposes. A list is a reminder that you can refer to repeatedly. And the act of writing helps log the data in your brain. “To do” lists are helpful when you have a lot of tasks to accomplish.
5.You have a better chance of remembering something if you can concentrate solely on that topic and close your mind to all other things. This ability to focus tightly is a knack that can be practiced and improved.
If you constantly forget where you put things, find a permanent home for each of them. Or, if you worry about missing important meetings, invest in a date book. You don’t have to clutter your mind with things that are routine, insists Dr. Caplan. “You just have to remember the routine.”
6.Our mental filing system probably stores facts by categories, explains Dr. Caplan. Therefore, breaking into a particular “file” helps you retrieve long-forgotten details. For example, if you need to remember the name of your third-grade teacher, picture yourself when you were eight or nine. Think about the person you sat next to in class, what lessons you learned, and what you wore to school. Eventually, that elusive name should come to you.