Brain memory games are fun and challenging games that are scientifically designed to strengthen your short term memory (STM) using visual and auditory tasks.
Visual tasks might be remembering the arrangement of a group of squares or circles. Auditory tasks might be remembering a sequence of numbers that you repeat in your head.
Brain games that improve your STM get excellent results because they automatically challenge you as they make the game harder as you improve.
Knowledge is power and the more you know about your memory and how it works the more able you are to improve it.
You have two types of memory:
- Short term or working memory
- Long term memory (LTM)
What is short term memory?
STM is the ability to hold a small amount of items (maximum of 7) in your memory for a short amount of time. That’s why you can remember a phone number but usually not a credit card number.
You use your short term memory hundreds of time a day as you hold bits of information while you focus on something else like listening to someone speak while you hold onto something they said earlier or your response.
How does it work?
Short term memory is called working memory as it’s like the clip board in Word. You copy something and hold it temporarily on the clipboard to paste it elsewhere then its erased, which is necessary as you juggle lots of information coming from your surroundings as well as internally (like thoughts or feelings).
The downside is that STM is fragile and you can easily forget something you were holding onto. We all have been about to ring a number for instance then been briefly distracted and realise we cant remember the number anymore.
STM can be affected more profoundly by:
- Stress and depression
- Chronic lack of sleep
- Poor nutrition
- Poor circulation
Attention can often be an issue when there are STM problems. If you can’t focus properly and are easily disturbed it’s very hard to actually get everything into STM to start with.
STM allows you to create long term memories.
Without an ability to effectively hold information in STM it’s very hard to form proper long term memories, which can also affect learning.
What are long term memories?
Long term memory is simply the memories that you consolidate and have over the long term. Without them you couldn’t build up knowledge and an understanding of anything. You wouldn’t be able to learn much at all and you wouldn’t have a sense of history in your life.
The same issues that affect STM memory will cause problems with LTM either you can’t recall certain things of you can only partially remember them.
How does long term memory work?
You form LTM when networks of neurons (brain cells) all fire together in a certain pattern. When you learn or consolidate this memory you are reinforcing this firing pattern and actually re-wiring your brain, as new connections are formed (to create a specific pattern) to create the memory.
Every time you retrieve that memory you fire up that specific pattern of neuronal activation. If you do this regularly you strengthen the memory.
So go ahead try some brain memory games to fire up your short term memory now.