Oh, the dreaded feeling of forgetting someone’s name. What makes this feeling worse is the engulfing thought that this probably could have been circumvented if you had been more mindful or a memory technique for remembering names and faces.
Current study seems to show you can ward off that terrible forgetting sensation with deliberate practice. According to Science Daily, researchers from Neuron published that after 40 days of continued daily 30-minute training sessions, individuals with ordinary memory skills doubled their memory capacity. After 4 months, without any additional memory training, their recall ability remained high.
“Well, I have been saying this for years. Anyone can have can train to have a really good memory. I did it and have been training people to double their memory for the past decade. It is good to see scientific research on this now, especially by a good publication,” Said Sancy Suraj.
Sancy Suraj is the founder of 2 memory training companies in Singapore, Pinnacle Minds and The Umonics Method. He represented Singapore at the World Memory Championships in 2011. “At the World Memory Championships I memorized 176 abstract images in 15 minutes, 98 words in 15 minutes, 480 numbers in 60 minutes, 51 names, and faces in 15 minutes, 460 binary digits in 30 minutes,” Said Sancy.
Sancy also is no stranger to memory records. “I held the Guinness World Record for the Longest Colour Sequence Memorised and currently own the Singapore Book of Records for the most number of pi digits memorized and recited. I memorized and recited 1505 digits of pi in 30 minutes. For the Longest Colour Sequence Memorised record I memorized 160 colours in 5 minutes and 20 seconds.”
Research participants were given a list of 72 words and required to remember as many names as they could. Before the memory training, the research participants recalled an average of 26 words, and after the memory training, they recalled an average of 62. “After memory training, we massively increased performance on memory tests,” says first research study author Martin Dresler, who is the assistant professor of cognitive neuroscience at Radboud University Medical Center. “Not only can you influence a behavioural change, but the memory training also induces comparable brain connectivity patterns like those seen in the likes of memory athletes.”
Yep, memory athletes like Sancy Suraj. These are the individuals that can memorize the order of a deck of cards in seconds or can classify and retain hundreds of paired names and faces. These memory athletes seem like X-Men, but when the Neuron researchers scanned the brains of the individuals who received the 40-day memory training, they found comparable brain connectivity patterns as the memory athletes in terms of how these individuals were processing the recalled data.
The connections showed an elevated usage of what memory experts call location training, where a large amount of information is link or associated with remembered places in the mind’s eye. As users mentally travel the place, they recall the list as various cues appear. This method of strategic training leads to the most significant amount of recall in the Neuron research study, which means it may be your best bet to never forgetting an important name, appointment, appointment or number.
“Start practicing. You too can double your memory. Anyone can!,” Sancy Suraj says.