Memory Retention

How Mind Mapping Aids Memory Retention

how mind mapping aids memory retention

Memory is a complex process which includes three processes to retain information; encoding, storage and retrieval.

Encoding

Refers to the first phase of the memory process. This process is where new information is acquired and converted to a memory. Without encoding, information would not be remembered.

Storage

Refers to the second phase of memorization. This process is where information that has been encoded is stored in our memory, which is divided into three systems: sensory memory, short term memory and long-term memory.

Retrieval

The third phase. This refers to accessing information from the storage process through recognition and recall.

Memory is an important part of our everyday life. Whether it’s remembering an important procedure or your weekly shopping list, we all use it. Many of us think that we are either born with a good memory or not. However, this is not the case. Like any training techniques, memory can be taught and improved by the way we process information.

Memory can be altered because of different reasons, one of those being a neurodiversity disability such as Dyslexia. Difficulties include working memory and short-term memory. This can affect how much information your memory process can encode and then retrieve, due to smaller storage space.

Mind maps as a memory technique

Mind mapping can be used to produce, structure and present ideas in a coherent way. They are usually based around an idea, with subcategories branching out. Mind maps are colourful and visually pleasing learning tools, displaying and linking ideas made possible by using words, images and shapes to help with memory retention.

Mind mapping is a simple technique and increases creativity. The more creative, the better! Mind mapping can benefit memory retention by creating maps which involve association. It has been proven that association is particularly good within the memory process, as information is best retrieved at a semantic level (having meaning). Therefore, the more imaginative and tailored an idea is to an individual, the more it will benefit an individual’s memory.

map image

For example, let's work to remember a small to do list. I need to ...

  • Buy apples
  • Throw out old milk
  • Changed my password to poppy
  • Book a dance class

This is a to do list which is personal to an individual. To help them remember items on their list, that individual uses a picture of ‘red lady’ apples as a reminder trigger because these are their favourite. Furthermore, the individual needs to remember that they have changed their password to poppy, as another trigger, this individual uses a picture of a remembrance poppy.

As stated above, encoding and retrieving at a semantic level ensures a much better performance with memory as this individual has associated everyday items with personal ideas that will only apply to them. Therefore, making the mind maps unique and creative will improve memory.

To conclude, mind mapping works with large pieces of information or small lists, allowing you to be creative and structure your work with thought and creativity behind it.

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