If you want to remember something, it will help to say it out loud to yourself or a friend, a study has found.
While people who talk to themselves may get funny looks, their memories may be better than people who think in silence.
The findings could potentially help everyone from pupils revising for exams to people simply trying to remember to do something.
The research, by Montreal University, involved getting 44 undergraduates to read words on a screen.
The subjects were instructed to read the words in their heads; read silently but moving their lips; repeating aloud while looking at the screen, and repeating aloud to somebody else.
The researchers found the strongest results when addressing someone else, followed by talking to yourself.
According to the researcher, Professor Victor Boucher, ‘The simple fact of articulating without making a sound creates a sensorimotor link that increases our ability to remember, but if it is related to the functionality of speech, we remember even more.’
He explained that increasing the number of ‘aspects’ to the information – such as the effort of moving the lips, and talking to someone else, made it more memorable.
‘The added effect of talking to someone shows that in addition to the sensorimotor aspects related to verbal expression, the brain refers to the multisensory information associated with the communication episode.
‘The result is that the information is better retained in memory.’ In other words, the more ways we have to work with the information: moving our lips, speaking it out loud, and talking in front of someone else, the easier it is to recall.
Now you have no excuse to not remember your answers during exams. Tell us what you think about this finding in the comment section below.