Is Memorization Good for the Brain? (5-Minute Read) | Iris Reading
Is Memorization Good for the Brain?

Is Memorization Good for the Brain? (5-Minute Read)

Is Memorization Good for the Brain?

Memorization serves as a workout for the brain, training it to be quick, agile, and focused. The brain is like a muscle that requires exercise for optimal functioning. Besides being a mental workout, memorization also teaches the mind to remain focused when dealing with unpleasant tasks. 

The world is becoming more technologically reliant, and memorization now seems unimportant in learning. But there are many reasons we shouldn’t dismiss rote learning just yet. Memorization still plays an essential role in education.

In this post, we’ll explain why memorization is good for your brain. 

Read on to learn all the benefits that memorization offers.

How does memorization affect the brain?

Memorization has several benefits for the brain. For example, rote learning, a memorization technique, can help you recall more information when practiced for prolonged periods. This technique is good for the hippocampal foundation, an essential part of the brain responsible for episodic and spatial memory.

However, many researchers believe that memorization is not the best practice for learning complex concepts. The reason is that it does not allow long-term retention. 

Speed reading and repetition have proven to be more effective regarding retention. It will become easy to recall the facts after some time, and when you continue, they will stick in your brain. 

When you memorize, it enables you to read and reproduce what you read verbatim. You store data in your brain without necessarily understanding its meaning.

The more you repeat a material, the more you are able to recall the information in it. Unlike meaningful thinking, memorization trains your mind to solve problems with one correct answer. It is more straight-to-the-point than meaningful thinking, which lets your mind explore different solutions by allowing it to solve problems.

While some people believe that memorization is a waste of time, it isn’t so for many others. Memorization can serve as a workout for your brain. For example, children reciting poems are honing their developing memories and learning about language patterns.

Proven benefits of memorization for the brain 

Memorization teaches your brain to remember and helps to prevent cognitive decline. Other benefits include improved neural plasticity, rhythmic patterns in kids, and more. Rote memorization is an excellent way to strengthen your brain and improve its capacity to recall things. 

When combined with speed reading, this technique will help you achieve more in less time. You can learn how to read fast with Iris Reading’s speed reading tool. Let’s elaborate on the benefits of memorization below!

Memorization helps to prevent cognitive decline

Developing your memory is a healthy lifelong habit that can never be overestimated. The benefits remarkably improve the quality of an adult’s life. According to some researchers at the National Institute on Health and Aging, adults who have undergone memory training have better everyday skills and cognitive functioning than others, even five years after the training.

The elderly adults were able to delay cognitive decline by practicing memorization. The delay was up to about 7 to 14 years. For an adult, this proves to be useful as it keeps you aware of your environment, even in old age. 

Working memory is important for creativity

A strong memory does not only benefit learning, but it is also important for creativity. The importance of creativity spans from just regular daily activities to more formal settings. Hence, working memory is critical to improving such functionality. 

Some Dutch researchers discovered that semi-professional cellists perform more creatively with increased working memory capacity. But when it comes to under cognitive load, the participants had lower performance on a creative insight task. 

Developing your working memory through memorization tasks allows you to free your mind and become more creative. Memorization helps to keep things in without putting a strain on the brain, which leaves an opening for creativity. 

Memorization teaches your brain to remember

Memorizing lines of poetry may seem useless for some people, but it is an important task because it teaches your brain to remember things. As a memory exercise, it creates a more conducive environment for the brain to retain information. 

The goal of memorization is to build the muscles in the brain, and just like every other muscle in the body, it gets stronger with time. Such techniques serve as a workout for the brain, strengthening it so that it can retain more information. Instead of cramming, you should memorize passages of poetry over time.

This way, your brain will become more receptive to recalling things. If you want to hold on to critical details, this is one feasible way to achieve way. 

Memorization challenges your brain

Do you enjoy a good challenge? Well, memorization is one challenge that you should look out for. The benefits go beyond just the rush of challenging yourself but improve your brain along the way for better mental health and other benefits. 

Therefore, to keep your brain fit, you must perform mentally challenging exercises consistently. It is just like working out at the gym. It works out the muscles in your brain to function more efficiently. 

The more you work out, the more it improves. There are no limitations to how much you can try to memorize, as the brain is much more capable than you think. 

Rote learning improves neural plasticity

According to some Irish researchers, learners can improve their recall of information through prolonged rote learning exercises. For example, rote learning is good for the hippocampal foundation, an important part of the brain responsible for episodic and spatial memory. 

In simple terms, this means that those that engage in rote learning remember things more clearly than others. This can drastically help people that have an issue recalling information. 

Also, this tote learning can be used on the older generation to help them remain active. Research carried out on participants aged between 55 to 70 indicates that repeated activation of memory structures boosts neuronal plasticity in the aging brain. 

Hence, the relevance it poses to the old and younger generation is something to look out for. 

Memory exercises help you practice focus

Sometimes it is easy to forget recent events like what you had for dinner last night. Most times, this happens because you’re not focused on remembering the little details of your daily activities. Yet, you will find that the nursery rhymes you learned as a child are still fresh in your memory. You may ask yourself why this is so.

The answer is focus. When you take time to memorize passages, poems, or anything at all, you’re teaching yourself to find focus. The ability to focus and remember such is an intentional effort. 

Students who learn to memorize from an early age have more capacity to focus on educational tasks than others. This happens as they have mastered the ability to stay focused on a particular task through the memorization process. 

Therefore, when you engage in memorization exercises, it works on developing how well you can focus in your daily life. Now you don’t have to think so much to remember what you had for dinner last night. 

Developing your memory skills is essential to learning new concepts

Memorization helps to develop your working memory. According to Weber State University student researcher Paula Fiet, one of the reasons students struggle with mastering concepts in reading and math is underdeveloped short-term memory. Paula explains that working memory is key when learning or retaining information in your mind to understand what you are learning.

Paula’s research proved that kids with working memories could not retain enough information in their minds at once to understand what is coming in. Students who perform exercises that improve short-term memory should also expect Improvement in their capacity to learn and their working memory.

Memorizing nursery rhymes teaches kids rhythmic patterns

When you repeat the same nursery rhymes again and again to young kids, it offers memorization by repetition. This technique is an important memory tool for children. As teachers and parents recite popular rhymes, kids learn rhythmic patterns, balance, and symmetry.

Memorization is a form of mental gymnastics exercise 

According to some neurobiologists, your brain can become quicker and more agile when you undertake mental gymnastics, such as remembering facts from sports history. Thus, it is a good thing to obsess over sports statistics. Researchers may not have enough evidence to prove this, but they believe that there is a connection between sports statistics obsessions and a highly flexible mind. 

According to UCLA neuroscientist Arthur Toga, mental exercises such as reading sports scores can get more circuits involved than activities like watching sports on TV.

Memorization helps to free up brain power 

When you memorize facts such as definitions, equations, and functions, it allows you to save up brain power that could be used for other things. Doing so enables students to move on to better things instead of spending too much time doing simple math on a calculator or looking up words. Grasping foundational concepts is essential, and memorization can help you achieve it.

Wrapping up

For some people, rote memorization is an unnecessary practice. They would instead teach creativity and problem-solving. That’s great, but you should know that memorization can still play an essential role in learning. 

Rote memorization has several benefits for the brain. These benefits include improved neural plasticity, preventing cognitive decline, helping kids learn rhythmic patterns and more. Memorization strengthens the brain.

Strong memory does not only benefit learning, but it is also crucial for creativity. Iris Reading has the perfect course to help you if you’re looking to boost your memory. Take the Maximizing Memory course and learn from an expert.

Boost your memory and become more productive!

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  • Mike Zimmerman

    Hello-I am the only teacher I know who required my 6th graders to memorize. I recited the poem/speech/sonnet/rhyme to the class as I handed out the biweekly paper over my 35 years in the classroom. We did Shakespeare on his birthday, Gettysburg Address in Feb, Visit from St. Nick in Dec, several Robert Frost poems and “your choice” at the end of the year. On our annual trip to SF at the end of the year, we always drew a large crowd in the Park as the kids loved to not only recite, but to also throw themselves into “acting” the part. We did about 28 pieces in a 40 week school year. My 5th grade teacher had us recite (in 1957), but I never, ever have even heard of any other teacher requiring memorization!

  • Henry Rios

    This is great to know especially since I’m 65, years old. I will practice memorization techniques as I learn more about it.