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Mental images, concepts and schemas are proven techniques to help us organise our thinking which may help us to improve our memory.   Below is a brief description of each technique, examples of the technique,   how it can help improve our memory and details of research/experiments which supports the validity, usefulness and success of each technique.

Firstly, mental images.   Creating a mental picture of something within our mind can sometimes make the information easier to recall.   Also the effort taken to create the image in our mind can help us fix it to memory.   This generally works best if the image we create is distinctive, e.g. large colourful and out of the ordinary as we are more likely to remember items like this then trying to recall everyday run of the mill things. A good example of how mental images work is the key word technique which has been proven to be especially useful in the learning of basic vocabulary in foreign languages. This works by thinking of an English word which sounds similar to the foreign word you are trying to remember. This translation provides you with the relevant key word.   Following this, you would create a mental image of the English translation to help you recall the foreign word when it is needed.   Michael Raugh and Richard Atkinson (1975) developed this key word technique and conducted an experiment using this.   Two groups of people were asked to learn a list of sixty Spanish words, only half of them being taught to use the key word technique.   The people using key words were found to have scored 88% when tested later and the people without the key words scored just 24%.   This experiment proves the key word technique to be extremely beneficial in the learning of foreign languages

Secondly, concepts.   Concepts are whereby we organise our thoughts into specific categories to help us remember things.   This is called concept formation. Each object within a certain category would share similar defining features, although the...