Train your brain to memorize 100 words or phrases, and you’ll be more likely to remember them later, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of Texas and University of Pennsylvania used a combination of video games and a computerized algorithm to train people to remember up to 100 words.
They found that when people were shown images of a particular word or phrase, they learned a lot more if they could recall that word or expression than if they were presented with images of other words or expressions.
The researchers were particularly interested in how this memory learning process works in adults.
The study was published online today in the journal Psychological Science.
“We found that training the memory retrieval process requires both working memory and attention,” study co-author James F. Campbell, an assistant professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo, said in a statement.
“The latter is very important, because working memory is very useful for memory-retrieval.”
The researchers trained their participants to memorise a set of 10 words, each of which they were told was a specific word or term that the researchers would teach them.
For each word, participants were shown the words and asked to guess what the word meant.
Once they had memorised a word, the participants were then asked to imagine it.
In each task, they were asked to identify each word as it appeared in the image of a word in the training video.
When the words were repeated, the researchers gave the participants the task again, this time with the word they had not yet memorised.
They found that the more accurately they remembered the word, and the more they were able to see and hear it, the more accurate their guesses were.
This meant that the better they were at remembering a word when presented with a different word, they made more accurate guesses.
For adults, this effect was even stronger.
When people were given a list of 100 words, they remembered all 100 words better than if the words they had learned were presented separately.
The researchers are still unsure whether the effects were related to memory recall or attention, or whether the differences between adults and children was due to a different brain mechanism.
In general, children are more likely than adults to have trouble remembering complex words, the study noted.