Humans are equipped with the ability to effectively navigate the world thanks to their sensory memory, such as remembering that it hurt the one time you fell and scraped your knee or the smell of a dish that gave you food poisoning. Our senses provide important triggers to help us maneuver life more easily and are essential to our existence.
While these sensory memories are innate within us, there are ways that we can strengthen these abilities in order to improve our day-to-day function. Today we’ll be focusing on visual memory, or the type of memory that allows us to remember objects in space, as well as simple, fun techniques you can implement to improve upon these skills.
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Visual Memory Defined
In its simplest form, visual memory is the memory of anything we have seen with our eyes. When we’ve seen something, this memory helps us contextualize it without having to be in its presence. In other words, you’re able to visualize something in your “mind’s eye” without having to use your imagination. Besides concrete objects in space, visual memory is also exercised when you try to remember abstract concepts like emotions. For instance, when someone talks about feeling angry or sad, not only does it trigger the physiological memories of those emotions, there’s also some sort of visual attached to it—even just the image of the word in our minds.
How Do You Build Upon It?
For many people who experience trouble with visual memory, the complaint is usually that they have difficulty remembering faces or people’s names. They may also find it challenging to remember directions or words they’ve just read. However, if you’re bad at spatial recognition, here are some techniques you can use to get better.
Visual Exercises For Faces
Many people find it difficult to remember faces after a first meeting, but this is usually because it’s not always a situation where you can let it stew in your brain. You may be in a group or at a party, what have you, and your mind is focused on too many things at once to register that information. One way you can remember someone’s face is by linking them with something familiar, or that stands out in your mind; for example, maybe they have a prominent facial feature, or they were wearing a T-shirt for a band you like.
Visual Exercises For Names
There are two types of memory at play when it comes to remembering names: auditory and visual. The best way to remember someone’s name, similar to placing someone’s face, is to link them to a familiar mental image that comes to mind. Sometimes names sound like other words; for example, Parker sounds like parks, Lily is like the lily flower, and so on. These are called mnemonic devices, and they’re an excellent tool if you’re a student who needs a way to remember large volumes of information for a test.
Visual Exercises For Places
If you’re someone who gets lost easily or heavily depends on their GPS to guide them on the same route they take to work every day, even though they drive there all the time, here’s what you can do to start turning off the directions and feeling confident going at it on your own. The next time you go out on your route, pay attention to notable landmarks on the way to your destination. Utilizing these visual markers will give you a better mental map of where everything is located in relation to space.
Many types of memory shape the way we take in our surrounding environments. Visit BetterHelp to learn more about them!