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1. Do I lose my memory daily?                
One popular theory of memory suggests that forgetting is Direct result of failure of communications between nerve assemblies. The fact that we remember what we want to remember proves that we have something called selective remembering and selective forgetting. This can best be characterized by the way we stay abreast of the things we like or dislike. Therefore; through emotions, be it pleasant or harmful we determine what we remember by selective process. As human beings we tend to place values on things based on our likes and dislikes. So remembering what you did yesterday is directly connected to be it fun or distasteful. So do we lose our memory daily yes and no? If learning and remembering things were chores in the past and we make learning easy, we will tend to want to learn more. With that being the case you can actually not lose your memory daily but acquire new memory. 

2. Do I have the Starting of Alzheimer's?                                     
Some of us actually feel like we are getting Alzheimer's when we can't seem to remember where we put our car keys, or walk into a room and can't remember why we walked into the room in the first place. AD or Alzheimer's disease affects over 4.5 million people in the US today. The actual loss of or deficiency of acetylcholine in the brain causes mild cognitive impairment detected in individuals and precedes the onset of Alzheimer's. The simple absentmindedness that many of us have today is purely the lack of a system to remember things. A trained memory can alleviate 95% of the forgetfulness we all have. It has also been discovered that the increase of mental aerobics or memory skills utilized by thousands of people today improves the recall and alleviates absentmindedness.

3. Why can't I remember where I put things?                                                   
The every day lack of memory skills will cause us to overlook simple things, like misplaced items, forgotten phone numbers, and people's names. The concentration of actions when the activity takes place and a system of recall will help in building our self-worth, increased self-esteem and an overall boost of confidence. We are not limited to our existing memory capacities. The approach used by therapist of brain trauma injuries includes some form of rehabilitation of our memory skills building. So memory skills can indeed be improved in a short period of time. Since the brain areas such as the limbic system handles certain functions in our daily living. It has been determined that different parts of the brain handle different types of memory tasks, such as recalling a phone number, recognizing someone's house or the car they drive. Some people are naturally better at visual recall versus auditory recall. Therefore seeing something works for some and listening to something works better for others.

4. Why can't I remember people's names?                       
How many times have you dodged someone face to face because you can't remember his or her name? It is universally agreed that your name is the one thing that gets your attention the quickest. So why do you forget someone's name? Research has proven that a person's ability to recall something depends on the value we place on that particular thing. It's not that you don't value that individual enough; it's just that their name is so abstract. In fact so abstract that your mind has a hard time deciphering through all of the loads of information in you memory storage you can't put your finger on it when you need it. Therefore; unless you have a system to recall abstracts it will escape you the majority of the time. Name retention is one of the skills that is sought after by more people and it's one of the most important things that having a good trained memory will assist you the most in today's environment. You can be assured that the people that have a good memory system for names have been taught a formalized technique and use it to recall names at their beckon call.

5. Can I improve my memory or is it a lost cause?          
In your daily walk it is important to improve your memory. It will reduce stress and improve your time utilization and effectiveness. You need to determine how well your memory serves you and assess what an improved or trained memory can do for you. If trauma patients use memory building skills to restore memory loss, why not apply the same techniques to improve you recall ability. Effective memory strategies are related to your physical health, your mental and your emotional state of well being. Your motivation to improve your memory should be directly effected by all of those factors. You have the ability to recall things in your mind, but it lays dormant until you activate the switch to on. Once you use your memory skills your mind will multiply what it can remember exponentially.

6. Can you teach an old dog new tricks when it comes to you're Mind?            
Many of us feel like our memories deteriorate with time and can never return, not so. In fact your memory can be better with age if used right. Intellect is not merely a function of hereditary factors in fact basically it doesn't matter is you are young, old, average thinking, or brilliant. Memory skills are easily learned by the average person with any learning ability whatsoever. The basis of memory is simply the application of memory skills learned in a conscious and subconscious state. The practice of those skills will only enhance your capacity to recall. We just need the impetus to improve our memory through formalized memory training.

7. Does age have an affect on memory?                                                  
You have probably heard the saying that, "age is a matter of the mind if you don't mind it doesn't matter." Well the ability to remember works a lot like that. The more active the mind the better the memory. (Short of a medical impairment). In other words an older person may take longer to get to the position to read or learn something due to their physical prowess but normal aging does not impede upon the memory to say. Scientist in the medical field have shown that some physical impairments such as heart disease and hardening of the arteries may suppress the blood flow to the brain therefore; causing memory traces to deteriorate. The fact that it can happen is a form of disease but not a characteristic of aging.

8. Can my diet affect my memory?  
Nutrition is directly attributable to good memory. The brain has to have nutrients to produce proteins necessary to assemble new memory traces. In simple terms many debates have been conducted on the miracle pill to enhance memory. There are no miracle pills for memory. Sure you can get more blood to the brain, but if you don't have a memory system in place more blood won't help you. Some memory experts will tell you herbs and vitamins of sorts are the failsafe remedy for memory, generally they are selling vitamins. Eating a good balanced diet will help you to be fit and alert allowing you to increase your ability to learn and recall using newly acquired memory techniques.

9. If I lose sleep does it affect my memory?                             
The age old situation where a student spends late night hours cramming for a test only to find that they would have been better off pacing themselves to several periods of study time. The same holds true to all of us trying to make some sort of a presentation without the proper amount of sleep under our belt. Sleep patterns directly affect our ability to recall. The more alert you are the better the mind functions and the better the memory strategies are able to work. Fatigue will suppress the flow of blood to the brain and limit our recall ability substantially. Get your required amount of sleep and by the way the amount of sleep required by each individual varies.

10. How can memory training improve my recall ability?                 

How we remember daily is based on our skills for learning and remembering. The time of day can play an important role on what we remember. Remember we are not limited to our current memory capacity. Research has proven our capabilities to remember can be greatly enhanced by learning and utilizing new memory skills to apply for different types of learning. Individual learning techniques can be applied or tailored to attain new levels of recall. The cognitive ability of an individual can be broadened by skill attainment of memory applications that are used to store information much like a computer does. We all have different memory needs and by gauging the types of needs we have we can learn accordingly. Research has been conducted showing increased retention values utilizing these memory strategies for improved comprehension. The ability to store, retain and recall large amounts of information is now easier and attainable through memory training.

11. Can Alcohol or drugs impair my ability to remember?               

Studies show that Korsakoff psychosis, or the continued Abuse of alcohol or chemical substance is a deterioration of brain cells. However, discontinuance of the abuses, will allow the brain the ability to redirect learning and cognitive functions. This enables the brain to remember and recall newly learned memory traces resulting in increased memory attainment. It allows the brain to transfer short term memory traces into long term memory storage for retrieval. 

12. What is ADD or ADHD and can it affect memory?              
ADD or attention deficit disorder and ADHD Attention Deficit hyperactivity disorder is a learning disability Diagnosed in individuals that display symptoms or characteristic behaviors defined in the DSMR. The defined behaviors are prevalent over a measurable amount of time. Clinical studies label it as having three predominantly apparent behaviors: 1) lack of attention or focus 2) impulsive actions or activity and hyperactivity or uncontrollable physical manifestations. Several good medications are now being used to control the protein deficiencies found in those diagnosed. The apparent tendencies of these individuals fall into boredom, Insufficient attention to activities being covered in their immediate areas and behaviors to attract attention of others to things they are doing themselves. With proper training and medication if necessary, focusing and recall can be improved by using memory strategies. The primary improvement tends to be due to the increased memory abilities through the increase of self-esteem and self-confidence. Memory enhancement fosters the ability of these individuals to be able to function in a normal setting. Direct learning and comprehension skills go hand in hand for a better memory. 

13. Is there a pill or medicine I can take to improve my memory?                   
The answer is NO! The only medicines for improving memory are the ones like Exelon, Aricept, Reminyl, and cognex and these are specifically used for treating AD or Alzheimer's disease. The best way to prevent your memory loss is to train your brain to remember. Memory enhancement skills are now being used universally to improve overall performance in the workplace and educational arenas. The ability to recall information is something aspired to by individuals in every walk of life. The ability to reduce the amount of time to learn something and recall it is directly related to the ability to remember.

14. How come I remember some things and forget others?         
Research shows that we remember things that we enjoy a lot easier than those we do not. So what? Well what about the things I would like to learn but always thought was impossible. Well the fact that you thought you could not learn it kept you from attempting to learn it. With enhanced memory skills and strategies you will have the ability to remember even the most difficult topics with a little work. The fact that you can learn anything increases the self-confidence allowing the brain to expand accordingly.

15. Why don't they teach memory techniques in school?                              

The same problem exists with the conversion of our measurement system to the metric system. Who will pay for the conversion cost? Not only is cost a factor but also change is hard for all levels even in the educational process. Some universities and schools do teach mnemonic techniques however no formal class is in existence in most educational arenas. Hopefully in the future a study will be conducted to show the value of memory training early on in the educational process.

16. If I take a memory training workshop how will I improve?      

Your memory skills will increase 300% or more the first day and steadily every day after that. Even if you don't consciously practice the techniques every day your mind will use the new skills activation subconsciously since it's the simplest way to remember or recall information. Studies show that the mnemonic skill enhancement increase the retention values up to 65% after 3 days where in the past you were lucky to retain 35-40% in the past after just 3 Hrs.

17. Does stress affect my memory?                                          
Stress is the strongest suppressor of memory. Most people cannot remember the things they need immediately at their beckon call when they are in a stressful situation. If you work or live in a stressful situation the chances of memory lapse increase substantially compared to those who are on an even tempo. It is unfortunate that life's stressors have this affect on our memory but it is true. Having increased memory skills and techniques will alleviate the stressors that tend to rob us of our instant access to information. Test anxiety is reduced substantially when someone knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that they can recall information in a more timely and efficient manner. Some stress is productive and allow you to maintain an alert conscious awareness. The management of those higher level activity moments will allow you to reduce forgetfulness. The old saying I will remember it when I take my mind off of it holds true. The great news is you can control just that process by using the memory skills to review and recall. Self-control of absentmindedness is essential in today's level of information overload.

18. Why do some people have a better memory than others?                                   
Some people were taught at an early age behavioral modifications (be it on purpose or not) with an increased ability of awareness. The skills you learn in memory training does exactly the same process. Your improvements of awareness is like learning how to ride a bike it will stay with you with the exception that your subconscious will use it automatically without your knowing it. It is easier than going back to school, however, since the memory skills are normally taught using spice or story telling methods of learning. Most certified memory instructors use fun and easy analogies instead of the old rote memorization methods or techniques. In all reality it is like turning on a light switch that never got toggled before the memory training experience.

19. What can I do to improve my memory quickly? 
Some companies sell memory tapes that you can listen to and are quite effective if you stick to it. Therein lays the problem, sticking to it. In a controlled workshop environment the instructor is allowed to maintain a rate of learning appropriate to two way communication, where audiotapes can not. The fact that you can ask questions of the instructor on various applications of the techniques is invaluable. The level of mental absorption is far better than you trying to learn it in a self-instruct mode. The instructor is also certified to control the atmosphere of discussion that allows subconscious learning.

20. Is there such a thing as a photographic memory?           
No! The brain is incapable of producing enough electricity to have a perfect replication of something seen or read. The theory of flashbulb memories has been distorted to have some believe that the brain can remember every minor point in detail. Flashbulb memories really are tied with substantial emotions and help us to recall great details but not all details perfectly. 


What is Memory?

According to Dr. Gary Small, M.D., Director of the UCLA Center on Aging "Normal memory performance involves both learning and recall and requires intact functioning of several regions of the brain and the brain cells, or neurons, within them. We generally think of memory as an abstract concept a thought; image, sensation, or feeling that is stored somewhere in our brain's filing cabinet, ready to be pulled out at will. However, because our brains are comprised of nerve cells, chemicals, and electrical impulses, our memories are actually encoded, stored, and retrieved as a result of miniscule chemical and electrical interactions. 

Each nerve cell in the brain has a single axon that acts like a telephone line, conducting nerve impulses toward neighboring neurons. The friendly neuron next door receives the countless assortment of electrical impulses sent to it daily, through its dendrites- bunches of thin filaments extending out like antennae, receiving and sending information. But the new info is not home free yet. 

To allow all of our brain's neurons to communicate with others, the axons and dendrites form thousands of branches, and each branch ends in a synapse, a specialized contact point or receptor that recognizes only extremely specific information being passed between neurons. Each neuron has approximately 100,000 synapses. 

The Layman's version of what is memory! 

Like many readers you may not have taken the above neuroscience course as explained by Doctor Small above, so you ask are there ways to improve your memory? Yes we are all in luck and yes we can avoid some of the embarrassing moments, the routinely unproductive time, and skip over the limits of your success that result from a poor memory. How you ask? With a simple process you can learn some life changing techniques that will unlock the powerful memory available to all of us. 

There is no such thing as a bad memory short of the Alzheimer patient that suffers from brain cell deterioration. A poor memory is merely an untrained memory. The ability to improve your everyday memory is a matter of learning to the use the limitless memory capacity you are born with and lying dormant until you turn on the switch. You truly do have limitless memory in the hard drive between your ears and the ability to activate it. 

Everyone suffers from mild cognitive impairment and will until you learn how to train your memory. Age related memory loss is a minor factor and no direct correlations exist between old age and mental function. Elderly people prove this every day by being as sharp as the younger person. The ability to form and recall new memory traces or memories can be extended throughout your life with the proper training. The fact is that most people have never encountered any formalized memory or Mnemonic training. USA Today published an article of a study that showed through the use of memory training techniques and exercises a persons memory is capable of getting better every day of their healthy life.(April 1994) 

What about absentmindedness? There are moments that are very frustrating but not earth shattering that we all encounter on some days. Moments such as forgetting your grocery list at home or your brief case at the office, or your day timer on the plane on the way home from a business trip. If you could replace those minutes or hours spent looking for misplaced items or car keys you would wouldn't you? Of course! You value your time and by learning memory techniques you can quantify in dollars and cents the time and productive savings that you will gain. Or maybe the positions in life that passed you by because of the message you forgot to give to your employer, employee, spouse or friend. Or how about the occasional appointment or anniversary date of marriage or birthday you forget? 

If you stop and consider how many times in your lifetime you have probably said or heard the word I forgot, it usually means something didn't get done, or caused some deadline slippage or a project delay or even worse a deadline completed wrong. I promise you the economic impact alone for the word forgot is something if measured would be mind boggling and staggering. 

The really costly absentmindedness scenario is the statement "I can remember your face but I don't remember your name" dilemma. I promise every day many of us go through the day meeting new clients, associates, future friends or past friends and can't remember their name. Then, without intent, we cause the dreaded devaluing feelings that people get when the next time you see them you can't remember their name. No matter how many or what kind of jokes you make about it the acquaintance will feel that you did not value their friendship enough to remember their name. 

These situations can cause you to lose credibility and a level of sincerity. When it happens and it does, somewhere down the line, as an after thought, it will impede your advancement into a better relationship, friendship or position. The ability to remember the entire audience and recall at a later time is well within your reach. Educators and trainers all over the country can appreciate and strive to achieve this skill daily. It can be an easily learned skill when you apply the techniques learned in a memory workshop. 

Or how about I will put this in a safe place until I need it! Then you spend minutes or hours searching for it or even worse never finding it. You can actually learn a technique where your safe place truly does become a safe place and never forget it! 

As communicators of something every day of our life, it becomes increasingly important to be able to make presentations of some sort in our private or public life more effectively. The number one fear in America today is the fear of public speaking. It has made people fear the thought of it to the extent of panic, dread, unease, and to the point of physical sickness. Why is this? When you normally feel comfortable talking to your family, friends or associates in small groups why should a larger audience cause you the mass alarm and make your heart race? The ability to conquer your fears is just the process of learning how to prepare yourself with a few delivery techniques using memory strategies. You can learn all things and commit it to your readily usable reach. 

What about what was that number? You can't remember you PIN or social security number or driver's license, or even important phone numbers! Your life is filled with important numbers that you depend on daily. The problem is for many numbers are to abstract. It is easier to remember numbers than you could ever imagine and a simple process learned using Mnemonics is the secret that can easily be mastered. 

You can even master the statement let me tell you about the one … Jokes, funny stories you have heard or even witnessed can be recalled using memory strategies. Everyone loves to laugh and being able to deliver jokes and funny stories is a social skill sought by many. It is just one of many advantages you can gain by learning memory techniques. 

Learning a new skill or new material is entirely possible and made easier when you can use memory techniques to your advantage. Explore new hobbies, a new language, and a musical talent untapped. It's not impossible if you have just a little desire to learn a few simple memory systems and then the wonderful computer between your ears will take over for you. With today's neuroscience results training your memory is not a luxury item but now become mandatory to provide cognitive reserve needed for increased longevity.

So what is a good memory worth? That's a question to be answered. So let's consider how much time you have spent over your lifetime or years searching for misplaced things or trying to recall facts, or figures, events or situations or the extra time you spend studying using ineffective techniques. Not to mention those embarrassing and awkward moments! What's your time worth? Depending on your age it can easily add up to weeks, months, maybe even years. Don't forget time is the most precious commodity you will ever own and who knows how much we own? With an improved memory you will have extra time to spend on the important, fun, areas that matters most to you. You can be on your productive way to a greater more meaningful life, filled with successful events and confidence that you did your best. Memory training has now been proven to be good healthy common sense! Now that didn't take an M.D. education did it! 

 Successfully, Harold Mangum, Psychologist/President MTI


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