Test your Memory

January 8, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
While you're awake, your brain generates 25 watts of power. That's enough to illuminate a light bulb! But how bright is your bulb?How good is your memory? One way to test yours is the object game. If you were to look at a screen with multiple objects scattered on it, how many could you remember once the screen was taken away?

Eric Chudler, Ph.D., of the Department of Bioengineering, says a trick is "chaining" the objects together. "The more bizarre image that you can come up with, the easier it will be for you to remember," said Chudler.

Say the images on the screen included a crab, ring and pencil. Imagine the crab with a ring on its leg. Then, the crab writing with a pencil.

"So, now we have ring," Chudler described. "We have crab. We have pencil. I see the crab writing c-r-a-b."

Another test is the tennis ball game. Place the ball a few feet away. Then, close your eyes and try to go there. "And that's testing memory for place and space," Chudler explained.

To remember names and faces, picture the first letter of the person's name on one of their features. "Whenever I see that face, I can see the letter K on Kevin's glasses," Chudler described.

Also, use your senses. Think about the smells that were around when you saw something. Try to chunk info together. Instead of remembering the number 2,054, think of it as 20-54. And tie theinformation to something important to you. Most of all -- keep challenging yourself. It won't be long before you've aced these tests.

Okay, here's the ultimate test for your memory. Remember that first fact I gave you? See if you can answer it now -- how many watts of power does your brain use while you're awake? If you said 25, you passed!

For More Information, Contact:
Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D.
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
chudler@u.washington.edu
http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/neurok.html


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