Why Humans Can Learn Almost Anything

by Martin Mak - Date: 2007-11-10 - Word Count: 554 Share This!

Humans are capable of doing many things at the same time. For example, we can talk on the phone and watch television, drink a cup of coffee while reading the morning papers or sing our favorite song while ironing clothes. These are simple tasks that we can do simultaneously without difficulty. But not everyone develop the ability to do many things simultaneously in the same way. For example, a person may be good at the drums and the trumpet, but to play the drum while blowing a trumpet and honking a horn is another matter. Of course there are people who can do that, making a living out of being a one-man band, but these are experts in their chosen profession . To attain this mastery takes constant practice and determination. However, the brain can quickly adjust and synchronise all these skills into a rhythmic display. The skill level changes from conscious incompetence to unconscious competence.

Take for example the first time you were riding a bicycle. You had to balance yourself, then you had to paddle with your two feet and at the same time ensure you do not run over the neighbor's cat or crash into a tree. After a some time, you were so proud of your achievement, daring even to take your hands off the handle bar. A classic example of the progression from conscious incompetence to unconscious competence. And all it took was a few hours of practice.

Skills that we have practiced constantly and for a long time will be internalized and can be performed right into old age. Even if there is a period of non practice, it will usually take just a few minutes before the brain and the body "remembers" the skill.

Just like any skill that we have learned, the mastering of memory training or memory techniques follow the same rule of competency. It is no wonder that top practitioner of astounding memory feat practice their craft everyday. Able to remember long digits of numbers of hundreds or even thousands of digits long and to memories similar long list of unrelated words. The old tried and tested method of mastering any skill is practice.

There are many techniques that can help anyone with astounding memory feats. Some people use mnemonics will others use the loci method or associations. For example, you can use the familiarity of your house, the arrangement of furniture or the route you take to work to help you remember anything, like a grocery lists. With more imagination but basically using the same techniques can help you remember names to faces, mathematical formulas, scientific facts or historical dates.

Also, the training of the memory, like any physical exercise is good for the brain, it helps you stave off dementia or Alzheimer's disease. John Preston, aged 78 can remember every verse of the bible of the new testament, a feat he attributed to a technique he learnt when he was 65-years old young! "Not a day goes by without me putting my brain into practice", he smiles. And family and friends say he is one mean poker player too. So learn a new skill today and everyday for the rest of your life, it could be the fountain of youth that keeps us from losing the thing that makes us human-our memory, in old age.

Related Tags: learning, improve memory, alzheimers disease, dementia, memory training, memory techniques, martin mak, mighty memory

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