Long-Term Memory Games

blue brain image by John Sfondilias from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

The human memory has three components: sensory memory, working or short-term memory and long-term memory. As you see or taste something, it's filtered through sensory memory. If the sensory stimulation is important enough, it's sent to short-term memory. Short-term memory has limited capacity, so crucial information is shifted into long-term memory. Many scientists believe that we can strengthen our long-term memory by playing simple games that stimulate the brain.

Room by Room

Have the first player write down a list of 10 wildly different items, while the second player (his opponent) walks through the home looking for 10 different places to put things. As the second player walks through the home, he should carefully memorize the order of the places he has found.

Set a timer for 2 minutes. The first player hands over the list of 10 items. The second player remembers the first place he found in the house, and visualizes placing the first item on the list in that place. He moves on to the second item and visualizes placing it in the second place he found, and so on, until he has visualized placing all 10 items.

When the timer is up, the list is taken away. The player must now use his memory to write down as many items on the list as he can.

The players then switch places, and the person who remembers the most items, wins.

Story Telling

Assemble a group of people around a table. Place 20 items in the center of the table. The first person starts a story with one sentence involving one of the items on the table. The second player gives the second sentence of the story using another item on the table. Continue adding sentences until every item has been used in the story.

Remove all of the items from the table. Give everyone a pen and paper to write down as many of the items as they can recall. The person who remembers the most, wins.

Getting Jiggy With It

Look at the picture on the box of a jigsaw puzzle for 3 minutes. Study it intently. Put away the picture and mix up all the pieces. Put the puzzle back together without looking at the picture again by using your long-term memory to remember the details of the picture.