Tags: Alzheimer's/Dementia | memory | tricks | brain | mental health

5 Methods to Remember Someone's Face and How They Trick Your Memory

By    |   Thursday, 26 March 2015 12:47 PM

Everyone has slips from time to time in memory, especially when it comes to remembering people’s names. How serious is this? Aging brains in particular have problems with quick recall, but science shows memory lapses do not usually point to a larger brain problem, especially if you can use simple memory tricks to help with recall.

Here are 5 methods to aid your memory when you run into a face in the crowd that’s hard to place, or when you meet someone new:

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1. Visualization and association: This method suggests you think of a picture to go with a name. For instance, break down the concept or name into pieces and make a picture story in your head. For instance, if you’re trying to remember the name of the first president of the United States was “Washington” – you might think of someone washing a ton of laundry. You’ve broken down the name and when the picture comes to your mind, make the association to the name.

2. Pay Attention when you meet someone: BBC Brainsmart offers this simple suggestion. Many of us are simply unable to remember a name because we just weren’t paying that close attention to when we were first introduced to a person. To make sure you actually look at the person you are meeting, force yourself into the habit of repeating the person’s name out loud back to the person after you hear it.

3. Look for bold features in a person’s face: Many people you meet may look similar. BBC Brainsmart also suggests trying to make note of a particularly unusual feature in a person’s face you meet for the first time. While they may remind you of someone else you have met, that distinctive feature, like a big nose, glasses, or unusual eye color, will clue your brain into the difference and help you remember. If you can link that person’s feature back to their name you are going to have a huge advantage.

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4. Try a different time of day: Psychology Today suggests time of day could make a difference in attempts to remember. Afternoon appears to be best for most people, and don’t forget to get some sleep. That also helps with memory.

5. Just ask: Chances are, if you are having a hard time remembering the name that goes with that face, you don’t know that person very well and they are having a hard time with your name too. So, just ask. According toScience Friday, we are evolutionarily programmed to remember faces more than names. Brains can better store visual data (one reason the visualization technique from above works so well), and there are many more details in a face than in a name.

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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Everyone has slips from time to time in memory, especially when it comes to remembering people’s names. How serious is this?
memory, tricks, brain, mental health
Thursday, 26 March 2015 12:47 PM
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