Book Lesson 01- Moonwalking with Einstein

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer

Why should you read this? 51rz2FvKGmL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_

  • To understand how memory can be trained.
  • To know few techniques of memory enhancement.
  • To get a glimpse of inner workings of brain.
  • To believe that our memory can be enhanced with practice.
  • To understand the amount of hard work that goes behind winning memory championship.

5 key take-aways!

  1. There are two types of memories Declarative and Non-declarative.
  • Non-declarative memory is what we know unconsciously. It consists of Motor skill learning in cerebellum, perceptual learning in neocortex and habit learning in basal ganglia. (This is hardwired in us unconsciously)
  • Declarative memories consists of semantic memory (fact based) and episodic memory (experience based located in time and space). (We must deliberately retrieve it from our brain)
  1. Brain is just 2% of our body mass but it uses a fifth of the oxygen we breathe and the quarter of the glucose we take. (So, it requires a lot of energy compared to any other organs)
  2. There are three stages of acquiring new skills – cognitive stage (intellectualizing the task and discovering new strategies to accomplish it), Associative stage (concentrating less, making fewer errors and becoming more efficient), Autonomous stage (you have become good for task and it’s on autopilot). Autonomous stage is where we hit the plateau in terms of learning curve. So, here comes the importance of deliberate practice, which helps in keeping out of autonomous stage and improve further.
  3. Monotony collapses time and novelty unfolds it. When we change our routine on regular basis by traveling, acquiring new skills etc. then we have enough instances of memories to anchor it over the stretched psychological sense of time. So, it lengthens our perception of our lives.
  4. Life seems to speed up as we get older because life gets less memorable as we get older.” So, the more distinct memory we have, the better we feel about our life.