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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Enhancing the Memory

In addition to exercise, sleep, reducing stress, proper nutrition, and visualization … there are additional tricks and techniques that have proven to enhance the memory.


A study at Bishops University, psychologist David Smith discovered certain smells helped students recall. If you smell the odor while studying, and then smell the same odor during the testing phase, you will have better recall. The smells that scientists have found to enhance learning the best are ammonia, peppermint and chocolate.  Suck on peppermint candy while you study, and while taking your test… see how that works.

More Visualization:

In addition to practicing your golf game or landing your plane in the bathtub, visualizing motion and color will help trigger the memory. Next time you set your keys somewhere, visualize wherever you placed them blowing up. When you go to look for them, I assure you the search will be easy. You won’t forget.  


Earlier I mentioned how detrimental stress is on the memory. But… what would happen to learning if you relaxed before you studied? I’ll tell you what will happen… your memory will increase!
Rosella Wallace, a third grade teacher from Alaska, mentally prepared her students before their daily lessons. She had them scrunch up tight, then relax. Then she talked to them with visual directions of relaxation... swinging high on a swing and then floating on the clouds. She would state the word she wanted them to spell, and repeat it in 4-second increments. She produced inflection in her voice each time she spoke. Her students scored in the 98 percent range for the state spelling competition.


Music and studying go hand in hand. How often does a song come on the radio and you “feel” good just from hearing it? And many of us can remember exactly what we were doing the first time we heard a particular song. These are auditory clues tied to the memory. For studying, research has proven that Baroke music clams the mind and the harmonics open your mind to encoding and recall. 

Mind Games: The Aging Brain and How to Keep it Healthy by Kathryn Wetzel, PhD and Kathleen Harmeyer, MS.

A great Book!  Get it... and remember to read it!

Have a wonderful day! And keep that brain alive!  


  1. Wish I had known this years ago. I knew some of it, but didn't really use it well enough - except for the positive self talk. Oh well, at least I had you there in the cockpit for excellent panel support and hints... :)

  2. Hey Kathy, you're so sweet! I wish you were still flying with me. We would have fun flying together in the Princess. Does that make three? :)

  3. I'm definitely going to try some of these methods! Maybe it will help me remember my pitch for the conference. And the peppermint will make sure I have great breath for that face to face pitch!

  4. Heather... I can't remember my pitch! I think it's called fatigue! lol.
    Oh well...whatever will be, will be!
    Candy...yeah! But... chocolate too. :)


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