Mastering Memory and Mental Agility – Techniques and Exercises for Enhanced Cognitive Function

a detailed and comprehensive illustration that visually represents various exercises and techniques aimed at enhancing memory, cognitive agility, and brain functions

Begin by verbally stating the following numbers: 1729. Next, shield them with a sheet of paper and challenge yourself to remember them in the precise sequence. Gradually introduce more numbers, repeating the procedure of concealing them after vocalization and then attempting to recall them. Here’s a progression as an illustration:

  • 18546
  • 489135
  • 7890142
  • 91248375
  • 813642509
  • 3126457809
This exercise is commonly referred to as a “digit span” test. Typically, individuals can remember approximately seven numbers in the order presented. This suggests that short-term memory has a capacity of about seven items, which are retained for only a brief duration before fading away. However, by repeatedly rehearsing the information, there’s a chance for it to transition from short-term memory to long-term memory storage.

Memory Retention Strategies – Primacy, Recency, and Word Repetition Techniques

an illustration that illustrates the word retention exercise described below, emphasizing the "primacy effect," "recency effect," and the dynamics of short-term versus long-term memory.

This exercise entails the repetition of an extended list of words multiple times. Arrange the words in four columns and recite them in sequence. Subsequently, shield the words with a piece of paper and attempt to recall them. While recalling them in the exact sequence is beneficial, it’s not essential.

Jot down the words you can remember on a sheet of paper. Then, redo the exercise an additional four times. Afterward, assess how many words you can remember. Typically, individuals tend to recall words positioned at the beginning and end of the list. When the initial words are retained more easily, it’s known as the “primacy effect.” Conversely, the retention of the concluding words is termed the “recency effect.” The words at the tail end of the list are often more memorable than those in the middle columns since they were the most recently encountered.

Nevertheless, if there’s an interval between reading the list and attempting to recall the words, the most recent words might be forgotten, as they reside in short-term memory. Conversely, words associated with the primacy effect are more apt to be retained since they are housed in long-term memory.

Enhancing Observation Skills – Remembering Specific Details of Individuals in Public Settings

This activity entails noting and remembering four specific details about individuals you encounter in public settings. These details might include their hair color, any hat they might be wearing, the style of their coat, or even an item they’re carrying. Generally, individuals are not adept at keen observation, making mental visualization of such information challenging. It might be helpful to begin by focusing on just one individual’s four details, testing your recall afterward. As you become more proficient, you can progressively increase the number of people you observe and remember details about.

Add 3 Minus 7″ Mental Exercise – Enhancing Cognitive Agility and Working Memory

an illustration that captures the essence of the "Add 3 Minus 7" activity

A beneficial mental exercise to engage in is the “Add 3 Minus 7” activity, which you can undertake anytime, anywhere. Start by selecting a three-digit number. Proceed to add three to this number thrice. Subsequently, subtract seven from the resulting number seven times. It’s recommended to repeat this sequence at least five times. For subsequent attempts, opt for a different three-digit number. 

While the activity specifies a three-digit number, it’s adaptable. For instance, you could use a four-digit number. As an example, if you begin with the number 1254, you’d add twelve to it a dozen times, then subtract eleven from it eleven times consecutively. This exercise is particularly effective in challenging your cognitive abilities and enhancing your working memory. The intricate details you need to retain throughout the task are instrumental in sharpening your mental acuity.

Echoing Technique – Enhancing Listening Skills and Information Retention in Conversations

Listening is a skill that many of us can improve upon. However, there’s an exercise that can sharpen your ability to focus on conversations and boost your recall. When engaged in a conversation, make a conscious effort to mentally echo or repeat the speaker’s words as they articulate them. This practice not only enhances your cognitive capabilities but also facilitates better retention of the information conveyed to you.

Introductory Activity

Activity for Enhancing Right Brain Function – Counting Squares

Count up the squares in the image below. Make sure you count those squares that are inside other squares.

Cube By

Activity to Stimulate Right Brain Function – Toothpick Reconfiguration

Arrange three toothpicks to form the numeral “9.” Remember, you cannot bend or break the toothpicks. If visualizing proves difficult, consider using actual toothpicks to experiment.

Activity to Engage Left Brain Function: Letter Scramble

Using the letters provided: IRNAB, here are some words you can form:

  • Rain
  • Bran
  • Barn
  • Rain
  • Brain
  • Bairn

Exercise for the Right Brain – Jigsaw Challenge

Work out which of the pieces would fit into the gap.

Activity to Stimulate Right Brain Function – Line Formation

In the image provided, connect number 1 to letter A with a continuous line. Then link A to 2, followed by 2 to B, and finally, B to 3. Continue this sequence until there are no more available connections.

Exercise for the Left Brain – Color Jumble

Rearrange the letters in the words below to find four colors.
  • RAIGET =
  • ENOLYL =
  • OVGOEN =
  • LEWRE =

Exercise for the Left Brain – Missing Vowels

In the following proverb, the vowels have been omitted. Reintroduce the vowels to unveil the proverb.
  • TWH =
  • DSRB =
  • TTRT =
  • HNN =

Letter Jumble #2

Utilize the provided letters to generate as many genuine words as possible. Additionally, try to identify the seven-letter word.

Analyzing Gary’s Preferences – Indications and Patterns

Based on Gary’s preferences, where he likes football but dislikes rugby, enjoys beer but not ale, and owns a Ferrari but wouldn’t drive a Lamborghini, we can deduce that he prefers popular choices but not necessarily the top-tier or most luxurious options.
Given this pattern, it’s not directly evident if Gary would prefer skiing or cycling. We would need more information or context related to skiing and cycling in comparison to his other preferences to make a reasonable guess.


  1. 21 squares.
  3. IX (Roman numeral).
  4. I, In, Ran, Rib, Rain, Nab, A, An, Air, Ban, Bar, Bin, Barn, Bran, Brain.
  5. B
  6. Star shape.
  7. Green, Orange, Violet, Yellow.
  8. Two heads are better than one.
  9. On, Or, One, Ore, Oner; Go, Gun, Guy, Gone, Gore, Grey, Goner; Rue, Run, Rug, Rung, Rouge; You, Young, Younger. The seven-letter, word is Younger.
  10. Skiing, because Gary likes words that have double letters.

To Be Continued… Part 11

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