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Make your brain smarter

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Karen Miller Karen Miller | 16:03 UK time, Wednesday, 2 June 2010

How's your memory for lists? Birthdays? Faces? PIN numbers? I've spent hours playing brain training games but I don't think it's made any difference other than passing the time during a rainy lunch hour! However, our colleagues in Learning Scotland have been coming up with ways to help us improve our memories...

Most people feel their brainpower isn't quite what it should be, but did you know there are some really simple ways to get that information lodged in there?

Drew McAdam is a stage mindreader and memory expert, and he's just the person to ask about this. He's been known to memorise the entire contents of a thick magazine despite claiming to have "only an average memory, if that". It's all about having a system, he says. Or several systems, in fact.

Drew McAdam

In Radio Scotland's School for Genius, presenter Vic Galloway took Drew on the road to teach his skills to the next generation. And in the first programme, he taught a class of Primary 7s in Dundee a couple of his memory techniques.

Within twenty minutes they were reciting back a long sequence of objects, first forwards and then to their surprise, backwards too.

Those Primary 7s are at secondary school now, hopefully using Drew's techniques to make their revision easier. And meanwhile, Drew's been working with Vic again, on the brain-boosting, memory-enhancing BBC Scotland website: Brainsmart.

Brainsmart isn't brain training, it's about making the most of your brain by understanding how it works, from revision skills, to nutrition and stress management. There are animations, narrated by Vic, that explain how to develop your memory for lists, names, and numbers and three games for you to put your memory skills to the test.

For an even quicker hit, there are tricks for memorising the kind of general knowledge that gets you points in pub quizzes. Like placing Henry VIII's wives in order and remembering what happened to each of them.

Have a go at the memory games and let us know how you get on below.



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