Thursday, 25 April 2013

Short Term , Working and long term memory part two by  Dyslexia Dublin CETC © 2013

Short term memory this is the first port of call for all we see and do and not one thing slips quietly past this point…the importance those is how do we hold on to this information long enough for it to be of use to us.
We must be able to feel hot and cold and smell good and bad odours…even walk and hold things.
But most importantly we need to turn all those things into our long term store, especially if they are relevant for future use (times tables) in studying etc.
Short term memory is so very important in help us to grow our lives and better our position whatever that might be. Working memory includes many systems for processing incoming data these store and issue information to and from the brain and help to coordinate all we do…this function could be very basic like get your finger to scratch your eye or could be something far more complex like a maths. We also have to have a very strong visual representation of the possible moves we need to make, and our awareness of the flow of information into and out of memory, and this is all stored for around 20 to 30 seconds.
In order to make that initial processing of what’s ahead we need to consider the importance of our working memory it’s a very important cognitive tool and indeed it helps achieve many things in our day to day living and learning routine. We all go on at times about the memory span of a gold fish…just imagine how chaotic our lives would be if that was the case; how would we go from place to place and how would we find the school never mind retain the information when we get there…people and things would always seem to have appeared for the first time no matter how many times we would have met them before; all would be un imaginable and but for our short term/working memory would be the case.
There are many who are unable to hold much in their short/working memory and in many cases this can be extended/improved, to move forward in life we need a sound short term memory to feed important information to our long term memory and stored ready for instant recall. The initial kick start just like that of a baby is through the senses and on into the short term memory and if the exercises is repeated (non stimulating) or maybe even done just the once it can be retained (stimulating) in the long term memory; hence the reason why we might not be good at maths and be exceptional at art.
Most of memory recall is sun conscious it just happens and on other occasions you can be distracted and not realise you have carried out an action and at that point you start to recall events to try and resolve the problem and thus bringing it into the conscious mind. We can look at many of the greats…Thomas Edison…Stephen Hawking’s they would take something apart in their memory and reassemble it in order to understand how it worked. Many of us think we have a poor memory especially short term.
I remember helping out at an old peoples home many years back and many just sat around (perceived to have bad memories) until the bingo started; I was amazed at how they could work one, two and three boards checking numbers whilst retaining them in their head; that da taught me an awful lot about how the brain responds to things it finds stimulating and the person who one will remember that for a very long time.
Poor memory has no bearing therefore on the word stupid or stupidity…this could be simply down to one part of the whole memory picture.
Take a look at getting to the bathroom in total darkness…we have travelled that path many times over months and years and this has allowed the brain to store the layout of the room and allows us to navigate all of the objects…the only time you are likely to trip is if something new has been left in your path or even a cup of water which you placed the night before you can retrieve this and take a drink without spilling a drop even whilst half asleep; why because you put it down and the brain witnessed that and passed it to the long term memory
Short term cognitive therapy/ training can really help. How would you be able to know if your partner or child had a problem with their short term memory? Does your child/partner struggle taking things down…maybe they transcribe one word at a time or even break multi syllable words into smaller parts or look up for every letter…if the former is the case they could well have short term memory problems…if you send them to fetch a few things do they return with them all or maybe return with nothing, then there is a good chance they could benefit from memory training.
There are many things you can do to stimulate the brain and thus improve memory.
Games in the car…choose a colour or make and go up to two each and then increase…the car has to be coming towards you…you can increase or make it more complexed by say choosing the model.
Helping in the kitchen to bake or cook meals will improve their memory and also increase their taste range and help out with their maths by measuring out and portions (fractions) of cake.
Send them off whilst shopping to get something off your list…you can help by creating flash cards of Google images…Heinz Beans…Cornflakes or your preferred brand show the flash card but retain it and then increase to two products and so on…flash cards can be used for anything even packing school things or a holiday.
We have many games in stock that can help improve memory like matching pairs or brainbox; remember little and often just like eating.
Always take safety as the first port of call when carrying out any intervention/training and please seek professional advice as we are only offering guidance.
Watch out for our DVD coming out soon.

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