By the way, the two fellows mentioned in the last post were 15 and 18 years old, respectively.
Are you partially "Brain Blind?" Is it far easier for you to recite the alphabet forwards than backwards? Much harder to count backwards down from 100 than up to 100? A struggle for you to carry on a present-moment conversation when you hear a favorite song playing in the background? Seemingly impossible to remember the names of three individuals to whom you've just been introduced? Very tough to remember the names, in order of seven or more random items within two minutes after you've had them, recited to you? Painfully difficult to recite the names of seven random items mentioned to you...even if reiterated three times in a row?
You're not alone.
We are, each of us [even those who faithfully read The Braintenance Blog] handicapped to some extent when it comes to doing things with our minds which we would think to be easy.
This is really a function of how we learn, how we focus and how we associate things, scientists believe.
We all too often rely on singsong rote memorization than on imaginary pictures of things: for example, if you could picture the alphabet, or the numbers from 1 to 100, you could easily recall that picture and just read it from the vision in your mind.
We have difficulty focusing on two or more stimuli to the same sense. If two people speak to us at once, or if a person is speaking to us and a song we enjoy is playing somewhat loudly in the background, we have a difficult time focusing in on one stimulus at a time. In the situation with two people talking simultaneously, rather than listening to noise, focus strictly and unwaveringly on one person's conversation -- upon recall, you'll be surprised to find that not only do you recall the conversation of the person upon whose conversation you had focused upon, but you'll also remember a great deal of what the other person was saying.
This latter phenomenon may be due to a splitting of our mind into an active, frontal, conscious listening device in short-term memory (which is later moved to long-term memory) and into the powerful recorder of the subconscious, being summoned by the conscious mind to replay the secondary conversation.
In remembering the names of a series of people, the key is to simply listen and not to focus on how you look, or what you are going to say in response. Don't rehearse your own personal introduction when you should be focused on listening to the three names. In fact, if you identify each of the three names with a silly short story about tat person and an article of his or her clothing, or some eccentricity, it gives you the context to recall each of the names with some relevance (although you don't want to say that to a fellow named Lance Boyle, John Reade, or Suzanne Bumpers).
Lastly, in order to become a memory master and to recite, in order, a series of unrelated terms which are recited to you, look about you (if possible), and associate each word with something either unmistakably memorable or something just going on at the time, and cobble the associations into an ordered, sequential story. You'll find that you can remember objects placed in key positions in a story much more easily than by any other method. Incidentally, without using this technique, most individuals can usually not remember and recite more than five unrelated objects.
None of us is truly "Brain Blind." We simply need to learn how to utilize our minds more efficiently.
Do you see my point? By the way, without looking,how old were the two boys mentioned at the very beginning of this article?
Thank you for reading me and for spreading the word to your colleagues and friends across your ever-growing social media networks.
Douglas E. Castle for The Braintenance Blog
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