Visualization and Memory

   We all start learning the skill to remember things at a young age. We learn to remember our friends faces, sight words we read in books, and we start to recall building structures on our way to go places. These are all examples of visual memory skills. Studies have found people are able to remember more items and their memories stay intake for longer periods of time if they use the visualization method to remember things.

Why does this work?

  • Visualizing does help your memory but why is this? Visualization allows you to create and summarize a memorable story that allows you to recall information at a later point in time. Some people even go a step further and use mnemonic tactics to remember situations. They will order items into acronyms for easier recall like the acronym ASAP. This acronym stands for as soon as possible, but you don’t have to remember all that information just the four simple letters ASAP instead.
  • Visualization activates the right side of the brain and incorporates the left analytical side too. The right hemisphere is the part of the brain responsible for imagination, visualization, perceptual or spatial skills, creativity, intuition, inventiveness. Memory is complicated and this is an oversimplification. These are only some aspects to memory, but the point of this article is to suggest how powerful visualization when trying to remember and recall information.  

How do I use visualization to remember things?

  1. Create a story. Creating a story forces, you to summarize and actively think about information. Think about it. When telling a story you must think about events then organize them. A story must have some sort of sequence. That is one reason why stories we create usually stick with us and are more readily available for recall later.
  2. Use mnemonics. The most widely used mnemonic technique we use to remember things is chunking. Chunking involves breaking items down into smaller units. A great example of this is a phone number. Instead of trying to remember each number 8602185969, break it down into subparts like 860-218-5969.


   Visualization will help you recall information for later use. There are many reasons why this works. Our brain our complicated but they are designed in a way to remember stories by chucking. However, our brains are not perfect and they do recall information incorrectly from time to time. Some brains are damaged and don’t work properly. For most, visualization will help you remember situations.


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