Understanding memory and the brain

Scientists are researching how the brain stores and recalls information at the first annual “Tampa Bay Memory Tournament.”

TRANSCRIPT

Scientists are learning about how the brain stores and recalls information, finding new techniques for those who struggle with remembering names, grocery lists, phone numbers, and more.

Up next, we take you to the first-annual Tampa Bay Memory Tournament, where students compete in both the verbal and numerical categories.

Let's take a look.

This is Dr. Dexter Frederick, the C.E.O. of the Brain Expansion and Scholastic Program, or B.E.S.T., a medical-based educational program in the Tampa Bay area.

The mission of our program really is to help our students gain access, gain information, be nurtured in their pursuit of becoming health professionals.

Today, Dr. Frederick is teaching his students memory techniques to help them in their studies and for an upcoming memory tournament.

I thought it would be very important to include a session where students can -- can be open and understand how their brain works so that they can learn faster, more efficiently, and -- and learning at a pace where it's -- It's just tremendous where their confidence level is at a high level.

Door.

16.

Coffee.

17.

Table.

18.

Child.

19.

Phone.

It's important for them to use as many as -- their faculties, mental faculties to keep them engaged.

So, whether or not we use music, whether or not you use acting, whether or not you use the movement of the hands, that is, you know, amazingly an important tool where learning can occur.

So, when I ask a student to come forward, that immediately keeps the adrenaline, pushes the adrenaline a little higher, and all of a sudden, the nerve fibers are excited and learning can occur faster.

Oh, eyes.

And?

Apple.

Very good.

All right! [ Laughs ]

After all the training, the students are ready for tournament day.

They gather to compete at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa.

The Memory Tournament is an environment where students can show in their long-term memory and how quickly they can remember.

The tournament begins with much anticipation and excitement.

And we have divided it into three main categories, where they have to remember words, they'll also be given a list of numbers, and they will also be given some medical trivia.

♪♪ You'll have two students, they're facing each other or next to each other.

And there'll be a judge.

They'll be shown a list of words, and they will have about two minutes to look at those words and using the memory techniques that they have been trained with to use, they will then try to retain that information.

Player number one will say what the first word is.

Player number two will then say what the second word is.

Player number one will say what the third word is, alternating back and forth, until one actually misses one of the -- the words.

Then we do that with numbers.

They'll have a list of 20 numbers or 30 numbers.

The final contest is medical trivia.

Here, the students work in teams.

Next question.

Many lives were changed today.

The winner of the word competition was Desu Imudia.

Honestly, I feel like this whole B.E.S.T. program has really helped me with being more confident in my memorization skills and understanding that I do have a great memory.

And so does everybody else, it's just the different ways in which we use it and how we figure out how we best can be able to memorize.

And this competition has definitely brought a lot to the table and -- and showed me that I am capable of a lot more things than I had thought.

And Tylyn Thomas used her training to win the numbers competition.

It was easy to make a story out of them.

And some of the numbers had patterns, too.

Some of them would be 43, 44, then 33.

Or I would have to make up on 38th Street, then it would go to 19th Street, like I'm driving, so making a story out of what I've had.

I felt accomplished at the end.

I was very surprised at myself, that my brain functioned to go this long with the numbers.

Luke Detlor led the winning team in the Brain Bowl.

He found the B.E.S.T. Program of great significance.

Not only does it teach you facts about anatomy and how to be ethical in the medical field, but it also gives you skills for memory and note-taking, and these skills can be applied to anything that you set your mind to.

We also had something that really stood out to me, and that was that we affirmed ourselves every time that we began a memory exercise.

'I have a great memory.

I have a powerful memory.

I have a consistent memory.'

Very good.

Go, B.E.S.T. Tampa!

Right?

And I think that that taught us confidence, and that confidence, I think, is the key to having a great memory and to be able to expand it as far as we can.

This is something anyone can do, no matter what their background.

If we can allow students in the world and in the United States, in Florida, to -- to be, number one, excited about learning and -- and feel very confident in whatever their field of study is, that's exciting.

The benefits of expanding your memory skills are vast.

Did you make a story?

Yeah, I made a story.

Okay, tell me about your story about the gift.

My life philosophy is to use my influence to make the world a better place.

And if I could do that and help some students and help, maybe one day, a doctor or a nurse that I trained, that will take care of me and save my life, that would be just a joy and to raise a new generation of healthcare providers that are compassionate, kind, loving, and have a great memory.