Here’s My Thoughts

Remember: the science of memory and the art of forgetting

Have you ever walked into a room to get something only to totally forget what it was you came to fetch?

Does this make you worry that you’re losing the plot?

If so, you’ll find “Remember” quite a comfort. I did.

Genova explains how memory functions, including how and why we remember certain things and why we forget others. Our brains are actually designed to remember meaningful things but forget mundane details like every time we brush our teeth. However, sometimes we forget things we’d like to remember. The good news is, we can take steps to improve our memories.

To facilitate memory several things need to happen, which Genova explains. First and foremost, we need to pay attention – we can’t remember things we don’t pay attention to so it helps to minimise distractions and focus on what you are doing. Visualising what you want to remember and using creative visual imagery helps too. Reducing stress in our lives and getting enough sleep also enhances memory formation and recall. There are plenty more techniques given in the book.

Genova helps us understand the difference between normal forgetting (e.g. where did I put my glasses) and loss of memory resulting from a disease like Alzheimer’s (e.g. you don’t remember you even have glasses). She offers advice on lifestyle factors, such as healthy diet and exercise, that reduce the risk of dementia. Just as my podcast guest Associate Professor Tim Windsor said, Genova advises “As a rule of thumb, anything that is good for your heart is good for your brain – and for preventing Alzheimer’s.”

I like the way “Remember” is written – Genova explains complex science in easy to understand language and she also uses relatable examples, many of them about herself.

I thoroughly recommend this book. I really did make me feel better about my own memory and I appreciated the practical tips about how to improve my memory. Also, it reinforced the importance of good quality sleep, something I’ve been paying attention to in the last several years.

Click on the link below to buy your copy of “Remember”.

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