Most of us take our memory for granted. And yet without this amazing faculty by which our mind stores and remembers information including past experiences, skills, and previously learned facts – or as Oscar Wilde said, “this diary that we all carry about with us” – we’re utterly unable to function in the world. Everything from learning to our ability to adapt to our surroundings and build and maintain relationships is adversely affected.
Which is why it’s so devastating to lose our memory through, for example, disease or injury, which can impact on one or more of the many areas of the brain that help to create and retrieve memories.
It’s one thing to occasionally forget where we put our mobile phone because we’re stressed and preoccupied (although such forgetfulness may be the early symptom of a more insidious problem), quite another to no longer recognise old friends or remember what an oven is for. Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, normal ageing does NOT lead to dramatic memory loss.
The good news is there’s increasing evidence that changes in the brain and nervous system associated with neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to re-wire itself and even grow new brain cells as a result of experience, may result in remarkable improvement in even serious memory conditions. In other words, stimulating the brain of someone with, for example, dementia through recreational and problem solving activities can be extremely beneficial.
Then there are those of us who wish to improve our memory in order to perform better at work or get more words in the cryptic crossword. We can also benefit hugely from a whole range of memory enhancing techniques.
There’s just so much to know and learn about memory: what it is, how it works, why sometimes it doesn’t, and what we can do to maximise its performance. That’s why we’ve decided to put this eBook together, a selection of articles about memory – some featuring our upcoming Mind & Its Potential speakers. I’m sure you’ll agree they make for fascinating and very inspiring reading.
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