There is More To Healthy Memory Than That

When searching through cyberspace for healthy memory, or something along those lines, much will be found. Much of this will be in regard to food or some type of pill. Much will also be found regarding gadgets or software. Now food, diet, and a healthy lifestyle are important to maintaining a healthy memory. There are also useful gadgets and software that can aid in keeping memory healthy. But, as the title of this post implies, there is more to healthy memory than that.

This blog employs three themes to aid in achieving a healthy memory. One theme concerns theory and data regarding human memory. It is worthwhile to gain some understanding as to how human memory works. Included here is also some understanding regarding the physiology and structures of the brain that are important to memory. Moreover, the very activity of learning is healthful, so why should not some of that learning concern memory and the brain?

There is nothing new about wanting to build better memories. Indeed, as far back as the ancient Greeks memory techniques were a central part of rhetoric. Phenomenal achievements of memory have been recorded. However, with the invention of the printing press and the increasing availability of paper, memory techniques started to fall into increasing misuse. Today, with the smart phones, personal digital assistants, and the internet, one might conclude that we do not need to remember anything. Strictly speaking this is not quite true as one needs to remember how to use these devices and to look information up on the internet. Even so, it seems prudent to have some memory stored internally in our brains. Mnemonic techniques represent another theme of this blog. They do offer a means of improving memory. Beyond that, however, they require us, at a minimum, to exercise our imagination, to recode and relate information, and to use both hemispheres of our brain. These activities in and of themselves should foster healthier memories.

The third theme to this blog is transactive memory. Now transactive memory includes those types of external memory storage that led to the decline of mnemonic techniques. This might be a tad ironic, but it would be a serious mistake to ignore transactive memory and try to use mnemonic techniques to commit all information of interest to our internal memories. Transactive memory provides another avenue for a healthy memory. It does provide a backup to our internal memories. Something that is important should be written down or placed in some type of external storage. And it also provides a means of memory growth. There are so many things to discover and learn in cyberspace!

Transactive memory is not restricted to technology. It also includes other humans. Information discovery should not be restricted to cyberspace. Our fellow humans contain a wealth of information. We need to share information among ourselves. There is also a social benefit here that is important to all and is especially important to healthy aging.

© Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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