Improve Your Memory With Games

Short Term Vs Working Memory

Short term memory and working memory is not the same thing.  Short term memory is what it sounds like.  Working memory is the use of that short term memory in processing information.  We will be covering mostly working memory but short term memory will also benefit from these games and exercises.

Using the Internet and Apps

There are many ways to improve your memory these days thanks in large part to the internet.  Best of all, it’s fun.  One game that claims to be effective at improving IQ by increasing memory capacity is Dual N-Back.  It’s a free app for your phone.  Available for Android and iPhone.

I was slow to figure out how to play this, but after working with it 15 minutes or so, I was able to get in the groove.  It’s easy to see how this would be mental exercise to help improve your memory after playing it.  But don’t get frustrated if it takes you a while to actually figure out what you are supposed to be doing.  That’s why they have the training phase.

Increasing your working memory capacity has been proven to add points to your IQ score.  The tasks in this game has been shown to increase working memory.

How it works to improve memory

The game will display a pattern visually and audibly.  You have to retain the pattern in memory long enough to recognize when a square is repeated from 2 displays back.  You also have to keep track of the letter that is called out audibly 2 announcements back.  You press a button to signal when you have detected the match.

This game is fun for people who want to make their memory sharper but there are many others which also claim to improve cognitive functioning.  Unfortunately, there are conflicting studies which seem to indicate that the results from earlier studies might have been flawed and the improvements in the subjects were limited to playing the game and were partially achieved due to the placebo effect.

Nurobics – Exercising Your Brain

There is a term called Nurobics.  That means to stimulate the brain by forcing it to do things that involved all of the senses in new and unexpected ways.  Studies have been shown that this is more effective than playing brain games.

Seems there is always a study that discounts another study, lol.  But it is cool that you can get off line and still do some things that are fun, easy and free which will help increase your ability to memorize and process information.

Other ways to improve your memory

  • Get more the recommended amount of sleep
  • Write things down
  • Matching cards game or that old school game of concentration
  • Learn and spend time mastering a skill – Might as well choose one that can help you in your work or to earn extra money  like productivity software or social media marketing.
  • Get exercise daily
  • Proper diet of food
  • Some video games – Super Mario 3d World was involved in a study that showed playing this game produced positive results while playing a different 2D game wasn’t.  So don’t grabbing your first choice or favorite game claiming it will make you smarter.

Only certain games will help your brain and if you do it to exclusion of other things that you should be doing with your time (it’s called balance) that makes you dumb!

And some other games that have been shown to help exercising the brain could also produce other unwanted effects on your brain like normalizing violence.