Sitting in an examination hall and scratching one's head might not exactly help in memory recall. The need of the hour would be to move your eyes from side to side for 30 seconds. You might look weird doing this in an examination sitting, but it might be the only trick to recall the forgotten facts and figures.
A study shows that improving memory may be as simple as getting to move the eye from one end to the other for 30 seconds every morning. This could improve memory by 10 per cent, a study suggests.
This is no exercise in futility, because eye movements is thought to enable better co-ordination between the hemispheres of the brain. This was evident in students who took part in the study and who were able to recall better after such exercises.
Research led by Andrew Parker of Manchester Metropolitan University, said, "This could be important in situations where we feel uncertain, unclear or maybe even just confused about what we may have done or said. It may help someone recall an important piece of information for an exam or for a shopping list."
In the study, 102 university students were given recordings of a male voice reading 20 lists of 15 words. The subjects were then provided a list and asked to choose what they had just heard. The study revealed that students who had moved their eyes from side to side performed better -10 per cent more than the rest. In contrast the up and down eye movement did not prove beneficial to memory recall.
Dr Parker said: "The problem is to determine the source of one's memory — real or imagined. Bilateral eye movements may help us to determine accurately the source of our memory."
The study is published in the journal Brain and Cognition. The researchers concluded: "The effects are so counter-intuitive. That such a straightforward experimental manipulation can bring about enhanced memory for studied information and lower the number of memory errors is quite exciting."