How Memory Works [Infographic]

How Memory Works

Via: Online Colleges Blog

Memories are created when emotions are involved. Think about some of the most memorable experiences you have ever had. I’m willing to bet that these memories have some strong emotions tied to them. Things like your college graduation, your marriage, or fights with friends leave you with always remembering this information.

In part 2 of this infographic, you see that when you forget information it is usually because you were distracted when you heard the information or you failed to tie this information with something that would force you to remember. If you struggle with remembering names, you can check out the article How to Remember Names.

A Balanced Life

Part 4 of the infographic above speaks about the importance of having a healthy & balanced life. I’m always striving to find balance in my life and find myself falling out of balance more often than I would like. We need to remember that it is okay to slip sometimes and to fall out of our balance, but it’s important for us to always try to have a fairly balanced life.

Everything from the food we eat to our social engagements and the exercise we do has a larger effect than we are aware of. The more you engage in these three activities, the more fulfilled you will feel.

The problem here lies in that it is difficult to find a balance with all of these. There are so many different diets and trends when it comes to eating healthy that’s its difficult to stay up on it all. I recommend a few different books and resources for watching what you eat. A simple to follow diet is the slow-carb diet that Tim Ferris often shares in his book, The Four Hour Body.

Exercise programs are also a dime a dozen and it really depends on what you are looking to get out of an exercise program. I will always recommend people over to the P90X program that was put together by BeachBody because I have had amazing results following their program.

I hope that this post has helped you out a little bit with understanding how your memory works and how you can use this information to improve your memory.

Do you have any other tips or tricks to improve your memory?

Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

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Vitamins for Memory: All You Need to Know

What Vitamins are the best for your memory?

Image: Boaz Yiftach /

Everyone has heard at some time or another that there are certain vitamins that improve your memory and can help you become more super-human. If you’ve ever seen the movie, Limitless, you’ve probably been curious about whether there really is a drug like NZT available on the market today. Sadly, there isn’t a drug like NZT available yet…although some researchers saying that a drug like it isn’t too far away.  Read more Brain Games: Is ‘Limitless’ a Glimpse of Our Future?

The good thing is that there are vitamins for memory. An even better thing is that I’ve spent time doing research for you and have compiled a list that will teach you more about what you should know about vitamins, supplements, and memory improvement.

Memory Vitamins

There are three main types of vitamins that can be taken every day for memory improvement. Various studies indicate that these vitamins are essential to have your brain and memory function at its highest level. In addition to improving your diet, you should consider taking vitamin pills as a simple way to guarantee you get all of these vitamins in your daily diet.

Here’s a brief description of the main types of vitamins that can have an affect on memory and your brain power:

1) B Vitamins – Research has shown that B vitamins create a protective shield for the neurons in your brain and help improve memory. These vitamins break down an amino acid that is toxic to nerve cells in your brain, called homocysteine. B Vitamins also lend a hand in the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen and is a very important aspect of brain nutrition.

Note: The most important B vitamins are B6, B12, and Folic Acid (B9). There are two ways to increase the B vitamins in your diet. You can either take vitamin supplements or you can start to incorporate healthy, natural foods like spinach and dark, leafy greens into your diet. If you can’t stand all of the leafy greens, you can simply take the vitamins.

2)  Antioxidants – You see the word everywhere, but do you know what they are and why they are important? Vitamins C, Vitamin E and beta carotene are antioxidants that are important for memory. Antioxidants break down free radicals in your brain, which are toxic forms of the oxygen molecule that’s naturally found in your bloodstream.

Note: Antioxidant vitamins are linked with memory because the damage that is done by these free radicals impairs the functioning neurons in your brain. It’s basically a way of protecting your brain from getting attacked by these free radicals. Some of these antioxidants are found in foods that you may be eating everyday. Foods like blueberries, strawberries, sweet potatoes, spinach, nuts, seeds and citrus fruits contain these antioxidants.

3) Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Alright so these aren’t really considered “vitamins” in the traditional sense of the word. They are more so fat molecules that are beneficial in enhancing memory and brain function. You may have a negative perception of the term fats, but the Omega-3 fatty acids are actually in a class of good fat. The fats here protect the brain against inflammation and high cholesterol.

Note: Good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include foods like cold-water fish: salmon, herring, tuna, halibut, mackerel as well as flaxseed and flaxseed oil.

Other Memory Supplements

There are other supplements that have proven to be beneficial in improving memory and I’m going to tell you about these now.


Acetyl L-Carnitine. This supplement is know because it has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, which helps with the energy production that’s necessary for optimal brain function. It’s also shown effective in helping bodybuilders grow stronger muscles during exercise.


Alpha GPC.  You’ve probably never heard of this. It’s true scientific name is Alpha Glycerophospocholine which is a mouthful. Alpha GPC is a form of choline that boosts basic life processes including growth and revitalization. Clinical studies have shown that Alpha GPC supports increased attention span, mental focus, recall, and other brain functions. Those are all positive benefits when it comes to improving memory.


ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) – ATP is the molecule that is needed by your body to create energy. When you have an increase in physiological energy, another benefit is that it helps improve your concentration as well as mental focus.


Bacopa Monnieri  Bacopa Monnieri is an Asian herb that has been used for centuries by Ayurvedic doctors in India. They have used this supplement for memory improvements and concentration. Modern studies are finding out that the Ayurvedic doctors knew what they were doing and shows support that the bacosides, the natural phytonutrients in this herb, do indeed support brain transmitters during memorization.


L-Carnosine is a general-purpose supplement that helps protect cells and tissues against the negative effects that aging naturally has. Carnosine has been used as a broad-spectrum anti-oxidant that defends against age-related declines in both the mental and immune functions of the body.


Citicoline (CDP Choline)  is a type of B vitamin which has been refined in order to product targeted action for phospholipid creation. Phospholipids are at the core of brain cell membranes, and Citicoline helps to enhance the production of important neurotransmitters in the brain.

DMAE 2-Dimethylaminoethanol, or DMAE, is believed to help with mental energy, alertness, and concentration. This compound can cross the blood-brain barrier in order to reach brain cells and is beneficial for energy, alertness and concentration.
Ginkgo Biloba has been shown to improve blood flow in your organs, including within your brain. The research has yet to prove that Ginkgo actually improves memory though. While this isn’t going to make a drastic change in your life, researchers do believe that improving blood flow to the brain is probably helpful. It could possibly mean that oxygen and nutrients can be delivered to your brain cells more efficiently.
L-Glutamine is a supplement that passes through the blood-brain barrier to the brain and is then converted into glutamic acid. This glutamic acid is an essential brain transmitter and is recommended for concentration and keeping your brain sharp. L-Glutamine is very popular among bodybuilders because it’s the most abundant amino acid in your muscles so has an added benefit for overall health and well being.
Huperzine A is a Chinese moss extract. Some studies have indicated that Hyperzine A enhances learning and memory by helping the action of neurotransmitters in the brain. This could indicate a way to battle age-related memory loss and even short-term memory boosts for students preparing for an exam.
NADH is a form of Vitamin B3 that boosts energy in your cells throughout the body. It will also help with the production of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.
Phosphatidyl Serine is one of the most popular of the brain-improvement supplements and is a major component of the outer membrane of brain cells. Naturally when we age, the production of phosphatidyl serine(PS) declines. Studies have proven that PS helps to reverse age-related memory problems as well as mood changes.
L-Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid that is converted inside of the body to neurotransmitters that moderate stress response, mental function as well as overall mood. When taken on an empty stomach with water, it has been found to really enhance concentration.
Vinpocetine is an extract of the periwinkle plant and can be used as an herbal aid for improving both memory and concentration. Vinpocetine acts as a vasodilaor and increases the blood flow specifically in the part of the brain that is used to store memory.
You may be surprised at how many vitamins and supplements there truly are for improving your memory. There is going to be an overflow in the market of different vitamins and supplements that claim to have a profound impact on your memory. Take your time when deciding to try these all out and do proper research before bringing these into your diet.

What have you learned about different vitamins for memory that could be added to this list?

Share your comments below!

Note: I am not a Doctor and do not claim to be. This is not intended to be taken as medical advice, but merely to make you aware of what is available. Consult your doctor before making any dietary changes that may affect your health.

Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

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How To Feel More Energized When You Wake Up

At one time or another, all of us have problems waking up in the morning. When I was living in New York, I had a very hard time waking up and getting out of bed during the winter months. We wouldn’t have any sun for days or weeks at a time and it was very difficult for me to get excited to wake up.

Image: photostock /

Have you ever felt sluggish in the morning?

With the New Year just starting, you might have made a resolution to get up earlier each day so you can accomplish more during the day. Possibly you wanted to use this extra hour to go to the gym and get a good work out in. If you are interested in losing some weight in 2012, I’ve got something that could be of interest to you.

You may not be aware of this, but your poor sleeping habits could be getting in the way of you reaching your weight-loss goals. According to a recent analysis by researchers in Tokyo they found that men and women who slept five hours or less a night were more likely to gain weight than those who slept seven hours or more. More info here.

The Fix: You’re going to need to establish a sleep routine and try to go to bed and wake up at about the same times each day, even on the weekends. Your goal for your room is to keep your bedroom dark and comfortable. Try to avoid spending time watching TV or playing around on the computer for at least an hour prior to bed. It’s a great idea to read fictional stories prior to bed because it helps you go off into a fantasy land, similar to what happens when you dream.

Internal Clocks and Our Circadian Rhythms

Our bodies strive to maintain a regular sleep pattern by regulating our “internal clock”. This is also known in the scientific term “circadian rhythms”. Our bodies and the cycles we go through take cues from external light sources like the sunrise and sunset in order to signal the body to sleep or wake up.

A problem arises when you live in places that do not always have sun. When I was living in Buffalo, NY I remember that the sky was fairly dark even in the middle of the afternoon. Since moving to Orlando, Florida I have been blessed to have sun almost every day of the past year that’s helped improve my sleep patterns.

When regular exposure to natural light is interrupted, our natural sleep patterns suffer. This leads to sleeplessness, sluggishness, reduced mental acuity and exhaustion. Something that researchers have been studying is simulating the dawn and dusk by providing the body with external cues through lights and music.

Sleeping and Waking Function

The good thing for you and I is that the people over at Verilux have been working on creating an alarm clock that simulates the sun rise and sun set. I wish that I had the Verilux Rise & Shine Natural Sleep System when I was in college and living in cloudy/snowy Buffalo! It would have made getting up in the mornings for classes a lot easier for me!

Feel Better in the Morning

Verilux’s Natural Sleep System helps guide the body’s natural energy enhancers that regulate normal sleeping and waking. The System provides soothing and effective sleep and wake-up programs to help you fall asleep easily and wake naturally refreshed and rejuvenated.

Advanced electronics offer an unlimited range of choices that include internal and external light sources combined with natural sounds, therapeutic programs and your favorite MP3 music of FM radio.

The System progressively dims or brightens the lights while simultaneously decreasing or increasing the sound to create revitalizing, natural and effective sleeping and waking programs.

Watch it in action:

Click Here to Buy the Verilux Rise & Shine


Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

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Experiences Working with Tony Buzan

My dad just found this picture of me (Chris) when I was a lot younger and when I first learned about Mind Mapping and started to understand the potential that the human brain has. Below is a picture of me with the inventor of the mind map, Tony Buzan.

Chris Hughes and Tony Buzan Discussing a Mind Map

If you don’t know who Tony Buzan is, he is the world’s foremost expert on thinking visually, and a leading lecturer on the brain and learning. Tony has lectured to diverse audiences, ranging from large corporations, to universities, to governments. Tony invented Mind Maps in the 1970s, and has been instructing millions in this technique ever since.

When I was in elementary school, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the USA Memoriad with my father. This event is a gathering of the greatest minds in America and was a competition to find out who in the US had the best memory. This competition challenged these contestants in contests ranging from memorizing names and faces, to memorizing decks of cards. It was also used to study different techniques that people had developed to learn and remember information better.

I was brought in and performed as a juggler for the contestants and the spectators. I actually ended up teaching the contestants and some of the spectators how to juggle, which was an extremely important event in my life. It was at these events that I was able to test different teaching styles with teaching people how to juggle. An added benefit of me being there was that I was able to spend 1-on-1 time with some of the contestants and learn about tricks they’ve picked up and how they learn.

But the truth was that the greatest thing about performing at this event was not meeting the contestants…

The greatest thing about attending this event was being able to show Tony Buzan what I had been working on. I was able to show him how I was using mind mapping to help me pass tests in school. I was using the information that he had taught me to study for tests and write papers. (You can see in the picture there that I was showing one of my many mind maps that was on soccer.)

Working With Tony Buzan

Having the opportunity to work with Tony Buzan at such a young age had a profound impact on the way I studied and would remember information. When I learned how to mind map, I would end up spending less time studying because I would remember the information better. The mapping of this information and using pictures to show meaning was a new way of studying for me and I ended up using it on and off throughout my schooling.

During high school I ended up moving away from using the mind map, and it wasn’t until my junior year in college that I started to pick it back up again. Coincidentally, that is also when my grades started to improve drastically. The first few years I really struggled with learning and recalling information but my last 2 years of college seemed to be a breeze for me. I know that implementing mind maps into my studying had a significant impact on the way I recalled information.

Now that I have started spending more time studying the brain and specific reasons why the brain works the way it does, I am understanding just why mind maps work.

It’s amazing to me to think that 15 years ago I was learning about the brain and the importance of finding ways to train your brain to better understand information. Over these past 15 years, there has been a major shift in the information that is now available about the brain. What’s fascinating to me is that a lot of this information has been discovered by people working with Tony Buzan.

In fact, his company, ThinkBuzan, has been developing a range of accredited courses where people can learn more about creativity, innovation and mind mapping.

My dad, who also is working with me here at Brain Smart Success has been written about in a few of Tony Buzan’s books.

Bob took concepts that Tony speaks about and implemented them through his Senior Management leadership positions at IBM. Books that include Bob in them can be found on our About Us Page.

We’ve been at the forefront of what we believe is going to be a huge change in the way we use our brains. That is the reason we started Brain Smart Success and the reason we are going to continue to put out practical information that is going to help you experience more success and have more fun in your business.

Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

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National Geographic’s Brain Games TV Show

I’m not one to spend a lot of time watching TV, unless of course it’s some form of sports. However, I just found out about this show called Brain Games on National Geographic.

Brain Games is a show that’s all about the brain and ways that we can be fooling our brain in our everyday lives. This show is one of the most up-to-date shows on the topic of the brain and how our brain functions.

It’s amazing the ways that our brain’s play tricks on us. You may be familiar with a few of the games that they go through on the videos below, but there are many of the games that I had never thought about or would have ever even considered.

In part 2, you can see hear some examples of how your brain can play tricks on you. It’s amazing to see how much our brains rely on our eyes to help us understand what is happening during certain situations.

I don’t want to confuse you with a bunch of brain terms, so I just want to share with you the videos and hopefully peak your interest in learning more about the brain and how you can use the brain to benefit your life in a positive way.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

If you are interested in watching more about the Brain Games show, you can watch it on National Geographic or you can buy the series from Amazon.

Click Here to get Brain Games on Amazon 

Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

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