Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How to remember names?

Forty eight years old clerk working in a government department was visibly upset when he entered my office. He wanted treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Dementia is a serious loss of cognitive ability beyond what might be expected from normal aging process. It is characterized by loss of short-term memory, inability to learn new things, defects in reasoning and problem solving. The clerk who came for treatment didn’t show any sign of such cognitive functions. So, I asked the 48 year old clerk: Mr. S., why do you think you are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease?
Mr. S. settled down in the chair and started describing his problem: Doctor, I have some memory problems. I can’t remember names of persons whom I know very well. I can recognize their faces, but I can’t remember their names. Often this causes me trouble. Some of my friends accuse me that I lack sincerity in friendship. That is why I could not remember their names. It creates some problems in work place also. My colleagues accuse that I am careless.
I tested his recent memory in the following simple way: I showed him four objects, viz. a pen, a cellular phone, a wrist watch and a paper weight. I asked him to keep them in memory. After five minutes I asked to tell the names of four objects. He recalled all the four objects in the same order. I reassured his memory power was intact.
Tim Hallbom
Tim Hallbom, a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) trainer, NLP Institute of California, author and therapist writes:  "One of the things that brain researchers have discovered in the last few years is that your internal dialogue occupies the same auditory nerve in your ear as external sound."
Researchers have established that the people forget names because they're usually involved in some other internal conversation. So, it's real hard to hear the other person saying their name when you're having an internal conversation with yourself about how you're coming across or what you're going to say next.
In remembering names, the first thing that Tim recommends is to concentrate on staying external with the person by listening to them. Then repeat their name to yourself three times while you're looking at them.
To get the visual part in, imagine that you can see their name written on their forehead. To make it more permanent, see their name in your favorite color of magic marker. This will make it stick out the entire better. Do this while you're saying their name to yourself. If you repeat this technique for some time it becomes automatic and you can do it effortlessly.
Franklin D. Roosevelt 
Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United Sates was a master at recalling names. He continually amazed his staff by remembering someone's name that he had only met once, months before. Asked how he did it, he said he saw the person's name written out on their forehead. 


  1. The Chinese herb Qian Ceng to (Huperzia serata) increases memory retention. This is the same herb that is the source of huperzine A, and it is also known as club moss. Pure and standardized extracts of this herb have been shown to increase clear-headedness, language ability and memory retention in a significantly high percentage of subjects with Alzheimer’s disease. It is a potent blocker of acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that regulates the activity of acetylcholine, which is an important chemical of the brain that maintains healthy learning and memory functions.

    Memory Disorder Clinic


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