Washington: A team of researchers have revealed a helpful strategy that may help older adults improve their memory.
According to researchers, the use of action and consequence to remember objects is only found to work in older people, who are not suffering from cognitive decline, as it requires the brain to carry out more than one function at once.
The results revealed that people using the action and consequence technique, or unitisation, achieved 78 percent after being trained in the memory game and playing it following an hour’s break.
Co-author Jennifer Ryan from the University of Toronto, said, “Previous research has shown that imagining two objects fusing into one will help people work around these memory deficits, but our work demonstrated that understanding the relationship between the two items is also important.” They analysed 80 people aged 61 to 88, who boosted their performance significantly in memory tests.
The memory trick is similar to the playground game of rock, paper, scissors. According to scientists, imagining an action between two objects, such as the umbrella lodged in the door lock and a potential consequence, such as being unable to unlock the door.
Imagining an action and a consequence together, such as the keys scratching the table, gets round the problem by fooling the brain into grouping the two separate items together as one. The older study participants were asked to use one of four memory techniques to figure out the winner in each pair.
The results reveal that an action and consequence between two objects makes it far easier to keep them in mind. Ryan further explained that the team is trying to understand what’s important to unitisation and what people need to learn in order to benefit. The research appears in the journal Memory & Cognition.