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Well, This Is Embarrassing

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 9:02 am | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
ChimpanzeeHumans are supposed to be the superior species, the apex of the evolutionary process. We are supposed to possess mental facilities that are infinitely better than any other animal. Yet it seems that chimpanzees are working to debunk that theory. In a series of memory tests, young chimps outperformed nine college students, recalling number locations more easily and accurately.  Their mothers didn’t do as well, but how much of a consolation is that? Five year old apes still beat out our species’ young scholars.

We pride ourselves on our memories, terrified that one day we will have none, but it would appear that our pride is misplaced. Our minds are already faulty. If we want to reclaim our place on the evolutionary ladder, we had better start exercising our brains, and that starts with exercising our bodies.  Numerous studies have proven that individuals who regularly workout have sharper mental abilities. Aerobic exercise increases the activity in the regions of the brain that control working memory, multi-tasking, and sorting out or blocking distractions. It’s not clear which types work best, so for now, just move. Get up, get going and know that with each step you are strengthening your brain. You’ll be sharper in the long-run. But, what about the short-term?

There’s no miracle cure for a presently lapsed mind. I can’t hand you a pill that will suddenly illuminate every lost thought, so in between workouts try these tricks:

• Mnemonic Devices – If you can’t remember a list or something specific, try a mnemonic device, such as “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally”, which stands for parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition and subtraction (the order for mathematical operations). Provided you can remember the code, you’ll have an easier time remembering what you needed from the store.
• Object-Name Assignation – Find an object that will automatically connect you to a person and his/her name. It’s often best if the object’s name is similar to the person’s, in starting sound at least.
• Repetition – Drill the information into your mind. If it’s a name, use it as often as possible. You may feel silly inserting “Bob” into every sentence, but the next time you see Bob, you won’t have to refer to him as “Hey, you”.
• Labeling – The beauty of labels is that they tell you what you need to know. Go to the store and empty the shelves.

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