The successful formation of memory depends on your frame of mind not only during and after an event occurs, but also beforehand.

If your brain is ‘primed’ to receive information, you will have better recall later on.

Tracking brain activity before an event, researchers scanned the brains of participants in a study during memory tests, and found that they could see the priming occurring. The brain activity before the event proved to be a predictor of recall.

Meaning is Key

When subjects prepared themselves by thinking in advance about the possible meanings of words that flashed on a computer screen, instead of treating them as random assemblages of letters, their memory for the words increased.

Conscious Thought

The priming activity was apparent in the frontal lobes of the brain, where conscious thinking occurs; stronger activity there meant more accurate recall.

This discovery bears out the common wisdom that thinking about meaning, rather than simply learning by rote, allows for greater retention.

Source: Help Your Brain To Remember

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