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Sharpen Your Memory:
Improve your Memory

Listen to Sharpen Your Memory

Wednesday 9 August 9.00am repeated 9.30pm

Mariella Frostrup

In a new series Mariella Frostrup talks to leading scientists and artists to find out how your memory works.

We've heard a lot about memory but how do we go about improving the way we learn, store and recall information? In conjunction with the BBC1 programme which goes out on the same day, How to Improve your Memory, Mariella and guests get to grips with the best methods of sharpening your mind.

Contributors include psychologist and co-presenter of the BBC1 show, Dr Tanya Byron, memory champion Tony Buzan (The World Memory Championships take place in London at the end of August this year); Cognitive psychologist Sue Gathercole explains how teachers can now help to improve children's short-term memories in school and the musician David Owen Norris looks at how music can help with your memory.

Centre for Working Memory and Learning: Sue Gathercole's research department


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I have an early memory of the inside of the hood of my pram i am interested that now i can interpret it as a feeling of safety andsecurity ,maybe it was raining too? My mother had dementia and the escalating problems associated with it were a fascinating insightinto the brain. The discussions with other residents in the secure unit she ended her days in werepunctuated by flashes often linked to music. i could go on and on and i appreciate the research to increase understanding.

A few months back,while sitting quietly,I was presented with a vivid vision of myself as a baby lying back in my pram. The hood was up,Iwas aware of its decorative edging, the hedges passing outside.I had no thoughts about anything, I was simply aware.What was deeply interesting was that the person looking out was the person I am now.

I am now 13 but I remember when I was 3 or 4 and it was soon after princess diana had died we had gone up to London with a neighbour. Whilst we were up there we saw her coffin being driven through London in the hurse we had not gone up to see it though I still remember standing on the pavement watching the coffin like many others on the road i remember london was especially crowded on that day.

I remember sitting in a classroom in a history lesson and being told about the "Cuba crisis". I remember being really worried that we were all going to be annihilated by nuclear bombs. I would be about 12 or 13 at the time.

samir amin
I was 4 and just starting school when I woke up one day and found out that princess diana had died. at the time we were moving house and we were staying at my aunties house and the first thing I asked my mum was did she drive past our house. I was only 4 and I didnt know it was in france. I am now 13 and the memory is crystal clear.

Ram Nair
My earliest memory relates to my visit to my father's hometown (when I was less than 4 years old) at the time of his mother's death. I have no clue why two scenes alone stick in my memory of that visit: 1) being received by father with an expression of surprise as it was not announced that I would accompany my relatves on that visit. 2) My crying incessantly when I was denied to possess a bright (golden colour) large spoon - probably I wanted to take it away with me. ( I remember no details of the reason for the denial). I remember both scenes vividly (I am an OAP now.)

I have worked as a carer looking after older people for a long time, and have found they can all remember things that have happened very early on, in their past, but have all struggled with remembering day to day events. To console them, l always told them that it was nature's way of conserving brain cells, for things that were more important, to them like 'happy memories' and not unimportant things like,where they went last week or what they had just eaten for dinner. I am 58 now, and also sadly find myself forgetting names or places, so I found your programme very interesting and hopefully helpful to me.

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