Can brain training improve working memory?

  • 4 June 2014
Can brain training improve memory?

About three children in every classroom have poor working memory.

This means they find it hard to remember more than one or two things at a time.

But scientists say brain training could be the answer to help people improve memory and even do better with their school work.

Researchers have found that 80% of the children who attend brain training sessions have shown an improvement.

Ricky's been to find out how brain training works - watch his report at the top of the page.

Image copyright Corbis
Image caption The brain stores all our learning and experiences as memories.

Top tips for improving your memory

If you find it hard to remember what you have to do in the classroom, some of these simple tips might help:

  • Record what the teacher asks you to do. You could do this by making notes, or by using a voice recorder on your phone.
  • Break down long lists of things that you have to do into small steps. Do the first thing on the list, then check what the second thing is.
  • Mnemonics can help you remember tricky spellings. An example is for the word because - you can remember how it's spelt by saying the mnemonic aloud: big elephants can add up sums easily. The first letter of each word spells b-e-c-a-u-s-e. Have fun making up your own mnemonics!
  • Use rhythm to help you remember tricky spellings too. To remember the spelling of friend, think "fri - end". That way, you remember 'i' comes before 'e'.
  • Use memory aids. These might be number lines that you use in maths or cards with useful spellings that you use in literacy.
  • Finally, if you have forgotten something important, you can always ask for help.

Thanks to the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, for helping us with these top tips.