Many people cite crosswords and puzzles as some of the habits that improve memory best.
But if you really want to boost your brain, sometimes the simplest method is the best.
Researchers from the University of Waterloo in Canada have discovered arguably the easiest way to greatly improve your memory. Their findings, recently published in the journal Memory, says that reading out loud to yourself can increase your recall skills by up to 15%.
In their study, scientists polled 95 participants to test four methods for learning written information: reading silently, hearing someone else read, reading aloud, and listening to a recording of oneself reading.
Their results found those reading out loud displayed the best retention rates, and a five to 15% boost in learning speed.
“Say the information that you want to remember out loud and you’ll have a higher likelihood of remembering it. Yes, it’s that simple!” explains psychologist and study co-author Colin MacLeod.
Why is it effective? Speaking and hearing oneself speak creates ‘the production effect’; reading aloud helps our brains store information in our long-term memories.
And while five percent more retention may seem insignificant, but compared to other methods of memory exercise – crossword books aren’t free, you know – opening your mouth and talking to yourself is well worth trying.
So, the next time you’re cramming for an exam or prepping for an office presentation, try talking out loud to yourself as you study. You may seem crazy to onlookers, but you know you’re really a genius. If you’re after superhuman memory retention, check out these habits of people with impressive memory.
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