How drawing can help your memory

How drawing can help your memory

A new study shows that drawing what you want to remember helps the memory.

Keys, sunglasses, or maybe your son. We all forget things now and then. Sometimes you may wonder, where on earth you put your keys, only to find them hanging from around your neck. Other times, you are faced with a serious explanation problem, when you forgot to pick up Sebastian from day care.

But there are ways to help the memory along; it gets significantly easier to remember, if you simply draw what you don’t want to forget.

A new study from the University of Waterloo in Canada, shows that it is easier to remember things if you draw them. Fortunately, for those without artistic talents, the quality of the drawing doesn’t matter, writes Science Alert.


Sketchers has the best memory

The small experiment consisted of 48 participants, in which half were in their twenties and the other half were around 80 years of age.

In the experiment, the participants were asked to remember a series of words, either by writing them down, describe them, or draw the things the words described.

After a short break, the participants were asked to remember all the words. The young participants were able to remember more words than the elderly, but common for both groups was the fact that those how drew the words found it easier to remember them.


Especially relevant for dementia

According to the scientists, the reason as to why drawing works best is that drawing activates more areas in the brain. Therefore, the scientists are hopeful that the method could strengthen elderly’s defence against diseases like Alzheimer’s.

“We believe that the act of drawing is especially relevant to people suffering from dementia, because it better utilises the preserved parts of the brain and help people with a cognitive defect to remember”, says Melissa Meade, one of the scientists behind the study, in a press release from the university.


10-minute workout for your brain

There are a lot of ways to keep the grey matter functional. The easiest is to do something you wouldn’t normally do. In short:

“If we spend 2x5-10 minutes a day doing something different, it is healthy for the brain. Not to say that you should spend 10 minutes a day solving sudoku. Even if you get very good at it, it will quickly become a habit; thereby using the same parts of the brain”, says Chief Physician and Professor Neurology, Troels Wesenberg Kjær to DR (Danish Radio).

Wesenberg mentions mediation and taking a different route home from work, as something that can stimulate the brain. The most important thing is to break with daily routines.



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