Academics from the University of Cambridge have revealed that they are looking for people with a ‘supermemory’.
These people have exceptional memories, and the researchers want to include them in a study that could reveal why some are better at remembering than others.
But it may not just be due to the natural ability at birth, there are some things you can do that are scientifically proven to help improve your memory.
There are some less traditional ways, including eating chocolate, walking backwards and spending time in the sunshine.
And MailOnline takes a look at the strangest techniques scientists have discovered that can turn you into someone with a ‘supermemory’.
It turns out that a compound in cocoa can help boost your memory.
A 2021 study found that flavanols — phytochemicals abundant in cocoa beans — improved performance on a learning task list for people between the ages of 50 and 75.
They belong to a group of compounds called polyphenols, which are also found abundantly in tea, olive oil, onions, leeks, broccoli and berries.
Studies show that flavanols are biologically active food ingredients that protect against cognitive aging, enhance cognitive performance, and enhance blood flow to the brain.
The researchers recruited people between the ages of 50 and 75, who were given supplements containing different levels of cocoa flavanols to take daily for 12 weeks.
At the beginning and end of the study, the participants took a series of cognitive tests to assess their thinking and memory, and a subset of the participants were scanned with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure blood flow in the brain.
The team found that the diet supplemented with cocoa flavanols seemed to improve performance only on the memory task of learning a list.
The findings suggest that cocoa helps older adults recall information in their short-term memory, but less so to quickly identify visual similarities between objects and patterns.
Research has shown that spending more time in the sunlight can help boost your short-term memory.
And in 2021, experts at the University of Bradford looked at how mice performed on memory tests when exposed to long and short periods of light exposure.
They found a “significant” link between poor memory and a shorter day, similar to what humans experience during the winter.
The team says the findings could be applicable to humans, suggesting that we are more likely to be forgetful during the long winters.
In mammals, there is a natural explanation for short-term memory loss during short daytime periods, according to the experts.
Study author Dr Gisela Helfer said: ‘In the summer, seasonal animals tend to put on more weight, which helps with things like reproduction and preparation for winter. But during the winter, when there are fewer resources such as food as well as less light, the body shuts off all kinds of nutrients. Jobs”.
For example, cognitive processes—particularly learning and memory—can be energy-intensive.
Research has shown that having sex can boost your long-term memory.
And a 2014 study from the University of Maryland found that middle-aged mice make more new brain cells, or neurons, after mating.
These neurons were located in the hippocampus, where long-term memories are made.
This stimulation of adult neurogenesis – or the development of neurons – is thought to restore cognitive function.
However, scientists found that after sexual activity ceased, the improvement in brain power was lost.
These findings were supported by a separate study from McGill University in Montreal, Canada in 2016.
The researchers recruited 78 young women between the ages of 18 and 29, questioned them about their sexuality and asked them to take a series of memory tests.--
The results showed that the women who had the most frequent sex scored the highest, so they had the best memories.
The researchers said the effect was more pronounced when it came to remembering words rather than faces.
Perhaps this is because word recall is handled largely by the hippocampus, while face memory is controlled by other brain regions.
And in 2016, experts at Coventry University found that men and women in their 50s, 60s and 70s who led active emotional lives were less likely to develop dementia.
The study of nearly 7,000 older adults showed that women who had regular sex scored 14% higher on word challenges, while the more sexually active men scored 23% more than their competitors.
A curious study from 2018 found that people who walk backwards perform better on a memory test than those who stand still or walk forwards.
Researchers from the University of Roehampton asked 114 volunteers to watch a video and then answer a questionnaire about what they could remember.
After watching the video, the participants were divided into groups – one was asked to walk forward or backward about 30 feet (10 metres) while the control group stood in one place.
It turned out that the group walking backwards got two correct answers to the questionnaire, on average, compared to those walking forward and standing still.
The team considered this an indication that the connection between the concepts of “time” and “space” is essential to the way our brains form memories.
It remains unclear why movement, real or imagined, should improve our access to memories.
Scientists have found that it contains a memory-enhancing compound.
A team from the University of Illinois studied the effects of luteolin, which is also found in peppers, on the brains and behavior of mice in 2010.
They fed her a controlled diet or a diet supplemented with luteolin for four weeks, and then assigned learning and memory tasks.
It was found that older mice on a diet supplemented with luteolin performed better than their peers.
Older mice typically had higher levels of brain inflammation and lower performance on memory tests than younger adult mice.
But after eating luteolin during the experiment, their levels of brain inflammation matched those of younger adult mice.
Professor Rodney Johnson, who led the research, said: “The data suggests that a healthy diet has the potential to reduce age-related inflammation in the brain, which can lead to better cognitive health.”
Classical music has been found to have many health benefits, including lowering blood pressure and helping fight infections.
But studies have shown that Mozart’s works in particular have a unique effect on the brain and memory.
Researchers from Sapienza University in Rome used EEG machines to record the electrical activity of the participants’ brains.
The recordings were made before and after listening to “L’allegro con Spirito” by Mozart, and before and after listening to “Fur Elise” by Beethoven.
They found that after listening to Mozart, the participants showed an increase in the activity of brain waves associated with memory, comprehension and problem-solving.
However, no such increases were found after the group had listened to Beethoven, indicating that there is something specific about the effect of Mozart’s music on our minds.
The researchers suggested that the highly rational and orderly arrangement of L’allegro con Spirito may ‘reflect the organization of the cerebral cortex’ (the part of the brain responsible for higher-level mental functions).
Another study from Anglia Ruskin University achieved a similar result after participants listened to music.