Can Memorizing Improve Memory? (Important Facts)
Memorizing can help improve your memory by stimulating neural plasticity that alters the brain’s neural pathways. When you acquire new knowledge through memorization, the functional changes in these pathways can help improve both short-term and long-term memory.
While memorization seems to have fallen out of favor, studies have shown that it can help you improve your memory and even your critical thinking ability. Whether you are a student, a professional, or a homemaker, memorization can help you stay sharp and ward off the dreaded cognitive decline.
In this article, we will learn more about memorization and how you can use it to improve your memory and overall cognitive health. So, let’s get going, shall we?
What is memorization?
Memorization is the process of committing a piece of information to your memory. It involves training your brain to retain visual, auditory, or tactile information so that it can be recalled whenever you need it. Studies have found that memorization can have a positive impact on your memory.
When you memorize a piece of information, you are training your brain to make neural connections that help improve your memory and critical thinking. Studies have also shown that memorizing new information can help prevent age-related cognitive decline.
Memorization has been around since ancient times as a means to sharpen the brain. However, the art of memorization is fading with all the information you need just a web search away. The increasing reliance on Google, especially by students and professionals, can hurt their memory.
Memorization can be challenging if you start to cram information into your brain randomly. However, through memorization techniques like spaced repetition and active recall, you can improve your memorization skills and, consequently, your memory.
Iris Reading has a fantastic course for students and professionals to maximize your memory. The video course has about 90 minutes of video content that teaches you how to use several memorization tools and techniques for better retention and recall.
Why is memorizing stuff good for you?
Contrary to what seems to be a popular belief these days, memorization can be a great tool to improve your brain function. Educators and general people alike often scoff at memorization, but studies have shown that memorization can improve every aspect of your cognitive function, including critical thinking.
One of the ground-breaking studies regarding the importance of memorization in improving analytic thinking came in 1942. Scientists found out that the reason expert chess players choose better moves than average players are not that they have better analytical thinking. The study revealed that the expert players choose better as they draw on their knowledge about the best moves they committed to their memories.
The study proved that to solve a problem, you must be able to retrieve all the pertinent information from memory. Thus, people who have stronger memories tend to be better strategists and planners.
There is also strong evidence suggesting that memorization can help in learning concepts. It does not kill creativity; it can stimulate long-term retention in students improving their academic performance.
Proven benefits of memorization for your brain
Memorization has several benefits for your brain. Not only does memorization increase your capacity to retain more knowledge, but it can also help develop new neural pathways that will improve other cognitive functions.
Here are a few proven benefits of memorization:
Memorization improves your brain’s neuroplasticity
Neuroplasticity is the ability of your brain to reorganize itself. Your brain continuously makes new neuronal connections, improving efficiency as you learn new things.
Improving neuroplasticity can also help the brain compensate for diseases and the loss of neurons due to injuries.
As you memorize new things, the neurons tend to make new connections through an “axonal sprouting process.” The sprouting allows the existing neurons to make new connections and improve the efficiency of your neuronal pathway.
The new neuronal connections, especially in the area of the brain called the hippocampus, help to improve your spatial and episodic memory. Several studies have confirmed that repeated activation of the memory structures in your brain can promote neuronal plasticity and enhance memory.
Memorization improves your brain’s cognitive performance
Cognition is the ability to think, remember and learn new things. As you age, there is a decline in your brain’s cognitive function, and you start to see the effects of age on your memory.
However, memory exercises can help delay the loss of cognition. In a study conducted on adults over 65 years of age, scientists found that memorization and other brain exercises played a critical role in improving the brain’s cognitive function.
Memorizing can also serve as mental gymnastics making your brain more agile and quick. Remembering certain historical dates or events can keep you sharp and help in cognitive performance. Scientists think training your brain by memorization is similar to training any muscle of your body.
As you train harder, your brain adapts to the new routine and responds by increasing its performance to match the increased cognitive demand.
Memorization can improve critical thinking
Thinking and problem solving are functions of your working memory. The amount of information you can hold in your working memory is directly related to your ability to solve problems, think critically, and your IQ.
As you memorize new things, your brain starts recognizing the need to accommodate more complex information, which is the first step toward problem-solving.
Thinking and understanding do not occur if you don’t remember anything. Thus, memorization is a huge part of your critical thinking and problem-solving ability. Solving even the simplest of problems would be impossible without memorizing certain things.
While it can be difficult to memorize new information for some people, implementing memory-building tricks and strategies can greatly help. It is possible to rebuild your memory using these tools and techniques.
Memorization frees up your brain
Committing certain facts to memory can help you free up your brain for other important things. As you commit the basics to the memory, your brain is free to take on tougher challenges and step on to the next level of problem-solving.
Rather than getting bogged down with the mundane, your brain can now move on to do more complex things.
Both students and professionals can benefit from this advantage of memorization.
Memorization stimulates creativity centers of the brain
A good working memory is the cornerstone of creativity. You must first retrieve new ideas from your memory to come up with new ideas. For any given creative task, you must be able to find memories that will help you accomplish it.
Memorization can help improve divergent thinking, an aspect of creativity in which you explore many available options. People with developed divergent thinking can come up with creative ideas after exploring thousands of choices in their brains.
People with stronger memories tend to find creative, out-of-the-box solutions to problems. Hence, having a stronger memory can be a great tool to boost your creativity.
Memorization can help you get there. As your memory sharpens, you can see a problem differently, allowing you a more fluid and creative thought process.
Memorizing can help you learn new things
Learning new things can be a challenge for many. Memorization can help make this feat possible. One of the best ways to learn a new language, for instance, is by memorizing certain words or phrases. Once you commit these words to memory, learning new words becomes easy.
There is a reason why we still encourage students to learn poems and mathematic formulae. Memorizing the basic concepts can help students easily imbibe the more complex and difficult concepts. You can’t learn new things without memorization.
While memorizing words might seem a chore, with proven memorization techniques and strategies, it is possible to jumpstart your brain and switch it back to memory-saving mode. The more you memorize things, the easier it can grasp new knowledge.
The ability to learn new things quickly can come in handy whether a student or a professional, and memorization is the first step toward achieving this.
Memorization is a great tool to improve your memory. While rote learning and repetition waste time, they can be great for your long-term memory when done correctly. Memorization can help enhance your neuronal plasticity and even your critical thinking.
Here at Iris Reading, we offer a Maximizing Memory Course– a video-based training course for students and professionals. The course teaches you practical techniques and strategies that you can implement easily to improve your memory and retention of key information.
If you want a boost in your productivity, check out our Personal Productivity course.