View Full Version : Improve Short-Term Memory Span, Overdose on your Meds Less Often!

07-24-09, 09:48 PM
Here's something I wanted to point out to other people in this forum. It's kind of repeating some of what I wrote on another thread, but with less blabbering.

Basically, if you have ADHD, then you likely struggle with memory issue as well as attention span. Part of improving your attention and short-memory span is exercise. Like, how we have with our bodies.

The following game illustrates two points about our short-term memory. The first is the Fast Consonant Span ( It illustrates that the visuospatial registers in our brains can actually hold alot of information all at once, but just decay really quick.

You might find yourself scoring on this test better than on the next test (which is really important for people with ADHD). The nest test is the Forward Digit Span ( On average a person can hold seven(+ or - 2) "items" at any one time in our short-term memory. Digit-by-Digit, a person could recall seven numbers or they could learn to "chunk" data instead.

By chunking, I went up from not being able to score high above 5 items to 9 today. But, I tend to only be able to do this in sets of three. For some reason, 4 is rather difficult for me and might have to do with the amount of time required to say it - more syllables the less you can chunk as the test results found by Naveh-Benjamen & Ayers (1986) indicate.

The tests done by Naveh-Benjamen & Ayers show that languages which require less time for pronounciation actually allow one to chunk larger numbers together at once. The longer it takes to say some things, the more data it takes up in our short-term memories.

English is pretty good for this because we tend to have one syllable for every 10 digits. In my experience, the "thousand" throws me off and is why I'm currently struggling with 4-digit chunks. Trying to chunk 4 digits tends to make me hold even less data somehow.

But, I'm sure everyone else here will work out their own strategies. Please do post whatever techniques you might have that would help out the rest of us in getting higher scores on these games.


07-25-09, 11:14 AM
Another update on this topic:

If you want to chunk numbers greater than 3 in length, then instead of referring to these numbers as number-"thousand and " something just refer to them as number-K. For instance, when rehearsing the number 4,523 - Don't say in your head "Four-thousand and Five-Hundred and Twenty-Three". Instead, refer to this number as "Four-Kay, Five-Hundred, Twenty-Three". Reduce the amount of syllables so that you can compress the amount of space required in your Short-Term Memory.

The better you can do this, the easier things will be when you're required to remember something. It takes practice and just like when we lift weights or go jogging you only get better with repetition. So, good luck to anyone who's wanting to use this to improve their memory!