6 Key Reasons Memories Are So Powerful
What do you remember? Some memories are more powerful than others.
Science shows that memories become more powerful for a variety of reasons, including:
- Multiple Senses
Each of these reasons imprints and strengthens memories within the brain. They also help explain why some memories are so powerful.
1. Multiple Senses
The more senses you use to experience something, the more powerful your memory of it will be. Scientists use food as the prime example of powerful memories associated with all your senses. Remember the first time you ate apple pie? Your brain recorded:
- The sweet smell
- How the pie looked
- How the pie tasted
- The sound of chewing the pie
- The texture of the crust and filling
Whether you like apple pie or not, each of these sensations helped integrate the experience into your memory. According to researchers at the University of Massachusetts, each part of the sensory experience layers the memory, making it a full and powerful memory to recall.
Memories that are tied to emotions are potent. In the apple pie example, if your beloved grandmother made the pie for you, the memory of eating it might include how special and loved she made you feel. Your feelings associated with eating apple pie make it a powerful memory.
Research published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology shows that emotions have a strong influence on human thought, including:
- Problem Solving
Research shows that emotion focuses attention, a critical component of memory. When you experience strong emotions, you pay more attention to the details of the experience. The additional details you notice make the memory of the experience very powerful.
Scientists believe that experiences tied to rewards create powerful memories that last throughout life. In an experiment published in The Journals of Gerontology, both young and old participants equated high monetary rewards with expensive items. Regardless of age, the participants remembered the costs of items and associated them with high financial gain.
Parents and teachers use rewards to motivate children to learn both factual knowledge and society accepted behavior. Getting an “A” on a test is a reward. Earning a treat for saying please is also a reward. The association of a reward with memory makes it a powerful way to enforce what was learned.
The opposite of associating a reward with memory is associating punishments with memory. Parents and teachers also use this method to create powerful memories. Being sent to the Principal’s office or being grounded are punishments used to reinforce memory.
In the journal Cortex, researchers state that punishments work because they focus attention on unwanted behavior results. Since science shows that attention helps strengthen memory, punishments are a useful technique to remind someone what not to do. Psychologists believe rewards and punishments must be fair and balanced to form powerful memories that influence behavior and learning.
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology studied the effect of practice in mice. They found that when mice tried something new, like a new maze pattern, their brains used a small portion of neurons, or brain nerve cells, to record the memory.
The more often they did the maze, the more neurons were used each time. The additional neurons helped strengthen the memory of how to navigate the maze so that over time, it became easy for the mice to complete it. When you practice something, the memory becomes more powerful with each repetition.
Like physical practice, mentally replaying situation helps create powerful memories. Examples include:
- Athletes who watch recordings of previous games
- Mentally reviewing a recipe before cooking
- Reviewing notes before a tests or presentation
Researchers have found that mentally replaying a situation increases the neurons focused on the memory at the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology funded by the Belgium government. The additional brain activity reinforces and creates a powerful memory.
Memories are so powerful because of the way they are encoded into the brain. By using multiple senses, evoking strong emotions, and offering reward and punishment, memories become powerful. Physical and mental practice also creates powerful memories.
🧠 Unleash the Power of Your Memories! Schedule an Introductory Session with a Certified HOBSCOTCH Memory Coach! 🌟
In our captivating blog post about the incredible power of memories, we explored how they shape our identities and enrich our lives. Now, if you're looking to enhance your memory and unlock its full potential, we invite you to schedule an introductory session with Coach Madelaine, a highly skilled and certified memory coach.
Coach Madelaine specializes in personalized memory improvement techniques that can help you harness the true power of your mind. Through tailored strategies and expert guidance, she'll empower you to boost your memory, sharpen your cognitive abilities, and optimize your mental fitness.
During your introductory session, Coach Madelaine will conduct a comprehensive assessment, gaining insights into your unique memory challenges and goals. Together, you'll explore practical exercises, mnemonic techniques, and personalized memory improvement plans that align with your specific needs. With Coach Madelaine's guidance and support, you'll embark on a transformative journey to unlock your memory's full potential.
🌟 Ready to unlock the untapped power of your memories? Schedule your introductory session with Coach Madelaine and take the first step towards a remarkable memory. Experience the joy of recollection, the confidence of retention, and the profound impact of a sharp, vibrant mind. Embrace the limitless possibilities that lie within your memories with Coach Madelaine as your trusted guide! 🌺🧠
Madelaine is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics at Universidad de Santa Isabel with a Master Certification in Health Coaching at Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. She is also a National Board Certified-Health and Wellness Coach with the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching, a Certified Quiet the Noise Group Coach with Elias Institute of Professional Coaching, a PACES facilitator, a Seizure First Aid Trainer, a trained HOBSCOTCH Memory Coach and brain health professional. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, dancing and reading oracle or tarot cards.