The secret to remembering things? Read them ALOUD: People who talk to themselves have better memories than those who work in silence

Posted on June 18, 2017 · Posted in Blog, General, Personal

If you want to remember something, it will help to say it out loud to yourself or a friend, a study has found.

While people who talk to themselves may get funny looks, their memories may be better than people who think in silence.

The findings could potentially help everyone from pupils revising for exams to people simply trying to remember to do something.

A study has found that people who read out loud to themselves or other people or are more likely to remember information than those who read in silence

A study has found that people who read out loud to themselves or other people or are more likely to remember information than those who read in silence

The research, by Montreal University, involved getting 44 undergraduates to read words on a screen.

The subjects were instructed to read the words in their heads; read silently but moving their lips; repeating aloud while looking at the screen, and repeating aloud to somebody else.

The researchers found the strongest results when addressing someone else, followed by talking to yourself.

Professor Victor Boucher of the University of Montreal said: ‘The simple fact of articulating without making a sound creates a sensorimotor link that increases our ability to remember, but if it is related to the functionality of speech, we remember even more.’

He explained that increasing the number of ‘aspects’ to the information – such as the effort of moving the lips, and talking to someone else, made it more memorable.

Professor Boucher said: ‘The simple fact of articulating without making a sound creates a sensorimotor link that increases our ability to remember, but if it is related to the functionality of speech, we remember even more.

‘The added effect of talking to someone shows that in addition to the sensorimotor aspects related to verbal expression, the brain refers to the multisensory information associated with the communication episode.

New research found that talking out loud can help people retain information better in their memory, which could help pupils when revising for exams (file image)

New research found that talking out loud can help people retain information better in their memory, which could help pupils when revising for exams (file image)

‘The result is that the information is better retained in memory.’ In other words, the more ways we have to work with the information: moving our lips, speaking it out loud, and talking in front of someone else, the easier it is to recall.

In a further experiment involving ‘nonsense syllables’ – meaningless groups of letters – recall was not improved whether spoken aloud, silently or speaking to someone.

The authors, whose research is published in Consciousness and Cognition suggest that these novel non-words do not benefit from speaking aloud as they are not represented in long term memory.

The authors suggest that because the words are new, the brain is unable to form a link with the previously learned material to aid recall.

Speaking out loud is just one method of improving memory. Other tips provided by other psychologists over the years to help us recall include: circling one’s arms; chewing gum, drinking water, and representing what we need to remember as a silly drawing.  -dailymail

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