Taking care of our health is essential at any stage of life, and not just physical health, as memory is an equally important part as we age However, just as we can strengthen our muscles and fitness, there are also ways to improve our memory and not forget the most important things.

So the neuroscientist Elizabeth Kensinger and the neurologist Andre Budson They gave some keys to The Harvard Gazette on how to achieve just that, Don’t forget the most important things.

As they explain, memory errors usually occur when an error occurs in any of the different phases that allow us to have access to these memories, such as encoding, storage and recall this information. In this sense, Kesinger pointed out that “get enough sleep It’s one of the most important things we can do.”

Although many people believe that forgetting is a bad thing, the truth is that “forgetting is important because if every time we tried to make a prediction about the future or understand what is happening now, we had to sift through everything that happened to us, it would be inefficient”, he says.

But to make sure we remember the most relevant things, we can follow a four-step procedure, represented in a mnemonic device. FOURThis will allow us encode information into memory more easily. These four steps consist of: first, focus attention; second, organize information; third, understand the information; and finally, relate it to something else we already know.

They note that “it’s a lot easier said than done”. “Often when someone says: I went to a party, I met all these people and I don’t remember any of their names.. The collapse was in that first stage, not paying enough attention“, explains Kesinger. “At the time of recovery, we can also have failures. Any student has already gone through this, when he knows the content but, during a test, he cannot remember. Or when you’re looking into someone’s face and you know their name, but at the moment you can’t remember it. That’s where, instead of trying to generate possible answers, we can use general recovery cues, like thinking about the last time you saw that person, the context and possible connections.”

aging memory

Inevitably, memory deteriorates with age, as “with aging, there is a transition to the brain that prioritize the essence of what happened. The brain accepts the similarities between events rather than trying to attach to each individual event. This can lead to a lot of frustration with memory and it can also make us prone to some types of memory distortions or false memories where we think something happened but it was something a little different.”

Despite everything, the neuroscientist adds that “it is also important to point out that there are some advantages in this transition“First of all, Budson points out that regardless of age, “there is nothing wrong with externalizing your memory or using helpers to remember”.