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Check-in: whats your imagination like?

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3: Back to front
Choose a room in your house (not the one youre versa. Draw an aerial plan of the mirrored room in
currently in), and imagine all the furniture mirrored the space below. Then go to that room and check how
so that whats on the left is now on the right and vice accurate your drawing is.

Your score: ______


2+ errors: 2 points
no errors: 4 points

4: Mental scale A: DVD case: 814 in (21 cm)____


Are the objects in the list smaller or larger than the size written beside
them? In each case, always consider the length/height of the object, and B: Mobile phone: 3 in (7.5 cm) ____
NOT the width. Write S (smaller) or L (larger) beside each object.
C: Checkbook: 213 in (6 cm) ____

D: Ballpoint pen: 312 in (9 cm)___

E: Wine bottle: 1414 in (36 cm) ____

F: Cotton swab: 234 in (7 cm)____

G: Fork: 9 in (23 cm)____

H: Coffee mug: 513 in (13.5 cm)____

I: Business card: 112 in (4 cm)____

Your score: ______


13 correct: 2 points
46 correct: 4 points
79 correct: 6 points

Solutions on p.182
80 LEAVING A VIVID IMPRESSION ON YOUR MIND (IMAGINATION AND MEMORY)

5: Tactile memories
Can you recall what it feels like to walk on a warm sandy beach? If the
answer is yes, youve just experienced a kinesthetic image. In other
words, youve just recalled the feeling you get when a part of your
body touches something familiar.
How strong are your kinesthetic images? Imagine the
following actions and rate how difcult it is to recall the feeling
on a scale of 14:
1 = very difcult, 2 = difcult, 3 = moderately easy, 4 = easy

A: Holding an ice cube. Your rating: ______

B: Stepping into a warm bath. Your rating: ______ E: Running barefoot on grass. Your rating: ______

C: A baby grasping your nger. Your rating: ______ F: Stroking a cat. Your rating: ______

D: Drinking cold water. Your rating: ______ What is your average rating
(sum of all your ratings divided by 6)? Your score: ______

6: Imaginary turns
How good are you at mentally rotating objects? Lets give it a try. By
mentally turning them left or right, decide whether the objects in each
pair below are identical (I) or mirrored (M) images.

A: B: C:

D: E: F:

Your score: ______


12 pairs correct: 2 points
34 pairs correct: 4 points
56 pairs correct: 6 points
Check-in: whats your imagination like? 81

7: Its all in the detail A: Do bears have short


How precise are your mental images? Search or long tails?
your memory to answer the following
questions. B: What color is the inside
of a mango?

C: Are amingos pink


all over?

D: Whats the color of


an uncooked shrimp?

E: Do bats have large or


small ears?

F: What does the shape


of Italy remind you of?

Your score: ______


1 point for each correct answer

Solutions on p.182

8: Zooming in Your score: ______


A buttery appears bigger as you get closer to it, right? This can be 13 details spotted: 2 points
experienced mentally, too. Imagine a buttery on a ower 3 feet away from 46 details spotted: 3 points
7+ details spotted: 4 points
you and then begin zooming in on it. You can see the pattern on the wings.
You may even be able to see its antennae and eyes. See, it works! Now
imagine a caterpillar on a leaf 3 feet away from you. Zoom in on it and on a
separate piece of paper list as many details as you can see.

1 0

HOW DID YOU DO?


Time to add up your points.
Your score = ( ____ x 100) 40 =
____ %
Were you able to visualize
images that were vividly
detailed? Which aspect of
visualization did you nd the
most challenging: color, size, or
shape? During this chapter, you
will nd out why visualization
is one of the keys to boosting
memory. You will also learn
2 memory techniques that
involve visualization.
82 LEAVING A VIVID IMPRESSION ON YOUR MIND (IMAGINATION AND MEMORY)

How does visualization


boost memory?
Pictures are more powerful than words to help retrieve a
memory. This is because the brain registers pictures both
at the conceptual and the visual level. For example,
when you see a picture of a cheeseburger, you
understand what it is (conceptual level) and you
see what it looks like (visual level). In contrast,
when you just hear the word cheeseburger,
you register it at the conceptual level and do not
get any visual cues, so your brain has to work a
little bit harder to access the memory.

The power of images


The superiority of images over words has been known for a long
time. This is why most mnemonics boost your memory by asking you to
convert what you want to learn into powerful mental images. The idea
is that these images will stick in your mind because the brain registers
them at both conceptual and visual levels, just as real pictures.
Mental images also help you create connections between the
different things you want to remember. For instance, if you want to
memorize that your new neighbor has a white cat as well as a toddler
child, try to picture both in a single imageyou can imagine the cat
licking the toddlers hand or the toddler riding the cat! Such images
might seem silly, but they are very powerful memory boosters.

Using the other senses


When you recall an object in your mind, you form One way to create strong memories is to form images
a mental image of it, but you can also recall other and enrich them with multisensory details. This will
sensory experiences of the object. For instance, if increase your chances of retrieving the memory. As
youre asked to think about chocolate, you probably with all the techniques featured in this book, the
begin by picturing your favorite chocolate bar, the more you practice this multisensory technique, the
packaging its in, but then you can also imagine its better you will become at using it, and it will soon
smell, what it feels like on your ngers, and of course become a memory aid that you employ without even
its taste when you put it into your mouth. having to think about it.
How does visualization boost memory? 83

9: Pictures and words


Take a few minutes to memorize the group of pictures in your short-term memory, recite the 8 multiplication
and the list of words. When you are done, cover them table backward starting from 80. Afterward, write down
up. Then, to make sure that none of these are present the pictures and words you can remember.

horse camera

chicken
carrot
glasses tabl
e stapler

le
m
BERRY
STRAW
spider

on
Pictures Words

HOW IT WORKS: WHY ARE MY MENTAL IMAGES NOT VIVID?


Picture a child running after a multicolored ball. How is your
mental image? Is it richly detailed, full of color, and as precise
as a photograph? Or is it rather vague and dim? People report
a lot of differences in the vividness of their mental images. Why
is this? Research shows that the vividness of mental images is
determined by the activity in the primary area of the brain which
processes visual information (in the occipital lobe, at the back of
your head). The more activity there is in this part of the brain,
the more vivid your mental images.
84 LEAVING A VIVID IMPRESSION ON YOUR MIND (IMAGINATION AND MEMORY)

How do special moments


stick in your mind?
We tend to remember moments, events, or things that are different from what
we usually encounter. Our rst experience of something is a perfect example,
such as the rst day of school, the rst time we
drive a car, or the rst time we share a
romantic kiss. Why is this?

The power of emotion


Such salient events attract our attention. This extra
attention leads to a better memory of the event
because more information becomes registered in
the brain, and this additional information acts as
a cue for retrieval later on.
In addition, salient events can sometimes rouse
emotional states of surprise, pleasure, or shock. For
example, most of us have no problem recounting
our rst day of school because we felt extremely
curious, excited, and apprehensive on that day.
Our heightened emotions triggered a state of
arousal in which we were more alert and attentive.
As a result, more information was registered
during this event. In contrast, its perhaps far more
difcult to recount the memory of our third day at
school because, as we became accustomed to our
new surroundings, our emotions settled down.

Adding humor is well known in the advertising world that humorous


There are many memory-boosting techniques that advertisements are more memorable than serious
take advantage of the power of uniqueness on ones. In fact, the next time youre watching television,
memory. This is the case, for example, in the Link count the number of advertisements you see that use
System (see pp.8889), in which the person creates humor to sell their product. Youll be surprised how
surprising and original mental images using the often the scene, narrative, or strapline relies on humor
material they are trying to memorize. These mental to attract your attention. So the funnier you can make
images tend to be funny too. This is because humor your mental images when using visual mnemonics,
stimulates our attention substantially. For instance, it the better your memory of them will be.
How do special moments stick in your mind? 85

10: Funny images


Spend 1 minute studying the 6 pictures that are on the front page of (60 x ___) + (90 30) = 240
the magazine below. Then cover up the image and complete the math (30 x ___) (36 10) = 94
(24 + ___) + (8 x 2) = 49
problems in the time lag task. Afterward, write down as many objects
as you can remember from the 6 drawings in the magazine.

M I C
CO

Did you recall the objects that featured in the funnier/bizarre images more
easily than the objects in the ordinary images? It is likely that the funnier
scenes made a greater impact and stuck in your mind. This demonstrates
the power of humor and uniqueness in memory formation. Solutions on p.182

TOP TIP: CREATE A SURPRISE If you are organizing any type of event (whether
it is a birthday party for a friend, an auction, or a fund-raiser) and would like
it to be memorable, try to include a surprise. The surprise doesnt have to be
something fantastic (no need to rent an elephant to wow the people, although
that would certainly work!), but it has to be something that stands out and is
unique to your event. Be as creative as you can.