Frustrated at Having to Repeat Yourself? Unpacking the Impacts of Weak Memory on Learning, Parenting, and Life with Dr. Amy Moore and Sandy Zamalis

About this Episode

On this episode of the Brainy Moms podcast, cognitive psychologist Dr. Amy Moore and board-certified cognitive specialist Sandy Zamalis delve into the topic of memory. How many times have you asked your child to do a few chores, only to have them forget? You may have thought, “That kid just doesn’t listen.” But the reality is that your child’s probably got some cognitive skills—like working memory and/or auditory processing—that need a boost to help them think, learn, read, and remember. Or think about the time your teen studied late into the night for a test, only to get a poor grade. If they didn’t get a good night’s sleep to consolidate those memories, they forgot what they learned by the time the test rolled around. If you’re curious to better understand the two broad types of memory—working and long-term—and how those skills can be targeted and trained to help your student live up to their full potential in school, work, athletics, and life in general, you won’t want to miss this host-led episode. Listen to Dr. Amy and Sandy as they explain how these two cognitive skills play a vital role in learning, and why even smart kids can struggle if these skills aren’t strong.

About Dr. Amy Moore

Dr. Amy Moore is a cognitive psychologist at LearningRx in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the headquarters of the largest network of brain training centers in the world. She specializes in cognitive training and assessment for neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD, brain injury, learning disabilities and age-related cognitive decline. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed medical and psychological journals and presented at conferences around the country. She has been a child development specialist, education administrator, and teacher of teachers with a PhD in psychology and a master’s degree in early childhood education. Dr. Amy has been working with struggling learners for 25+ years in public, private, and government organizations, so she knows a little about thinking and learning. She is also Editor-in-Chief of Modern Brain Journal, a TEDx Speaker, host of the Brainy Moms podcast, a licensed pastor, and a board-certified Christian counselor. Dr. Amy is married to Jeff Moore, a retired Air Force fighter pilot now working as a surgical nurse. They have three incredible sons (ages 19, 23, and 25) and a very mischievous but soft Siberian cat. Originally from South Carolina, Dr. Amy has called Colorado home since 2006.

Watch her TEDx talk, Lessons Learned from Training 101,000 Brains
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About Sandy Zamalis

Sandy is a brainy mom of 2 who loves co-hosting our show! She’s a Board Certified Cognitive Specialist and the owner of LearningRx Staunton-Harrisonburg in VA where she spends her days improving the lives of struggling students through brain training. Her diverse background includes being a USA Swimming Coach, probation officer, homeschooling moms, and small business owner in 3-D printing and scanning. Sandy has been married for 26 years and is her passion is helping families understand learning challenges so that children can find success and confidence.

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Read the transcript for this episode:

DR. AMY: Hi, smart moms and dads. Welcome to a very special episode of the Brainy Moms Podcast, brought to you as usual by LearningRx Cognitive Skills Training Centers. I’m your host, Dr. Amy Moore, and I am joined by my co-host, Sandy Zamalis, and we are going to continue our series talking about the different cognitive skills—or the thinking skills, the skills we use for learning and thinking all day, every day. And the reason that we’re sharing this is because Sandy and I are super passionate about cognition and that’s what we do in addition to being hosts of this podcast. I’m a clinical researcher in neuroplasticity and cognition and Sandy is a board-certified cognitive specialist. And so this is what we do all day, every day with our clients. We work on remediation of cognitive skills to help people think and learn better. Hi, Sandy.

SANDY: Hi, Amy. I’m excited for this topic. We’re going to talk about memory today, both working memory and long-term memory. This is probably one of my favorite cognitive skills to talk about for a lot of different reasons, but let’s start with the basics. What are the two memory skills and how do we need them to learn?

DR. AMY: Yeah, so it’s interesting when we try to divide the types of memory because we think we typically think of memory as short-term memory and long-term memory or working memory and long-term memory. And so those are really broad categories of memory, when in reality there are lots of really narrow memory abilities as well. So it kind of starts broad and then narrow and then individual tasks in memory. And so, you know, in our work, we follow the Cattell-Horn-Carroll Theory of Cognition, which does divide skills as broad and narrow. And so they’ve collapsed those two broad areas into short-term working memory and long-term memory. And so I think we’ll go with those just to make it easier for this conversation, if that’s okay with you.

SANDY: Totally. Which one do you want to start with first? Long term or short-term working?

DR. AMY: Let’s, let’s start with short-term working.

SANDY: Okay.

DR. AMY: Okay. So, short-term working memory is our ability to capture information, hold it, and do something with it in the immediate term. So, it’s our ability to hear, hey, I need you to add 23 to 46. So we have to remember the two numbers, then we have to add them together and produce a sum. That is an example of how we would use short-term working memory.

SANDY: So you talk when the way you just explained it, that’s actually an auditory side of that memory too. Is there a visual side to that?

DR. AMY: Absolutely. So a good example ofvisual working memory would be looking at a map while you’re driving somewhere and saying, “Okay, I’m gonna have to turn right, you know, on Smith Street and left on 7th Street and then right again on Johnson Street” and then putting your map away so that you can safely drive and pay attention to the road. But being able to remember what the street names were and which way you’re supposed to turn while you’re driving. So that would be visual working memory.

SANDY: Okay. So, what I like to share with parents a lot of times is working memory is that memory that you need when you’re telling your kids, they need to go grab their school bag, go brush their teeth, get their shoes on, grab their water bottle and meet me in the car. Yes. Is that a good example?

DR. AMY: That’s going to be sequential auditory working memory, right? So you’re giving them a sequence of tasks that they need to remember and act on, right? So you didn’t say, “Hey, the capital of France is Paris,” which is a type of auditory memory that they would have to use to bank that away. You’re actually expecting your child to act on something that you’ve said, and that requires strong auditory working memory.

SANDY: Gotcha. I bring that as an example with parents a lot because that’s a frustration point, right? At home, when you give your child tasks and they have a hard time following through on them. And when working memory is weak, what does that look like for the child?

DR. AMY: Yeah. So not only is it a source of frustration for the parent, you better believe it’s a source of frustration for the child. And so then let’s talk about what that frustration does to the brain, right? So frustration is stressful. And we’ve talked in other episodes about how stress releases cortisol, which actually impedes memory function. And so we have to be super careful as parents to stay calm, right? And help our kids by either giving them less steps, right, to remember, like if we know our child has weak working memory, then why are we overloading them? And so that’s one way that we can help is just to not give them five steps. Let’s give them two steps and see if they can do that and then give them the next two. But, of course, we can also remediate that memory through memory training exercises. So we don’t want it to be an accommodation forever, but it is the first step to help reduce that frustration for both child and parent.

SANDY: Okay. So we’ve talked about it like in math, right? We’ve talked about it in a parenting kind of scenario. What does it look like in a classroom, per se, if working memory is weak?

DR. AMY: Yeah. So it makes it difficult to remember the instructions that your teacher just gave you. And so if you’re not encoding what your teacher is saying, right? Like, “Hey, I need you to pull out your textbook, you’re going to turn to page 36, you’re going to answer all five questions, and then you’re going to turn that in.” Right? So that’s just an example of that sequential auditory working memory task that you gave at home. And so it’s going to look the exact same way. You know, the child with weak working memory skills is going to go, “What did you just say? What were the directions again?”

SANDY: I think another place it tends to show up is in reading for kids who struggle with reading and can’t remember what they just read. So for example, they’ve just decoded a word in the first sentence. And then in the next sentence, they get to that same word and it didn’t stick. They’re having to decode that word all over again. Is there a way you can kind of explain to parents why they might see that? I talked to parents a lot about that. That seems to come up a lot.

DR. AMY: Yeah, so a lot is happening in what you’re seeing right there. So it’s not just a working memory issue, right? Yes. “Hey, I just decoded this word three sentences ago, so I should be able to decode this word now.” And so that absolutely could be a weak working memory. But reading also pulls long-term memory in. Because those decoding skills that we’ve learned are banked away in long-term memory. And so while you’re trying to decode that word, you’re pulling on prior knowledge of decoding, at the same time that you want to remember, “Hey, I just did this two sentences ago.” So it could actually be a weakness in long-term memory or working memory. Or It could be a weakness in auditory processing, which we’ll talk about in a different episode. Auditory processing skills are those skills that allow us to manipulate sounds in our language.

SANDY: Okay. So maybe that’s a good transition to talk about. Well, what is long-term memory?

DR. AMY: Yeah. So long-term memory is the brain’s process of taking in information, encoding it, and banking it away for later use. And so typically the hippocampus is the part of the brain where memories are processed and stored. And so again, it takes attention skills. Because if we can’t attend to something, then we can’t remember it. And so we have to be able to pay attention to something before the brain can actually encode it in some way to bank it away for later use and retrieval. Right, so it’s a two-part, long-term memory is a two-part process, right? Encoding it, banking it away, and then being able to retrieve it later. So, so a long-term memory weakness could be in the receiving of the information, or in the retrieval of that information later.

SANDY: Okay, so one of the examples I try to give parents, and let me know if I’ve got this right, is I think of it like a test-taking memory skills. So I’ve studied all week. I get to the test. Can I then retrieve the information that I need for the test? If you know, because sometimes parents will say, “We studied. He had it. He had it the night before and then he didn’t do well on the test the next day.” Now there could be a lot of reasons for that. But. It could also be that it didn’t bank, right? It didn’t get stuck in that long-term memory. So testing can kind of help us figure that out. But is that a kind of a good scenario thinking about as a  the test-taking memory? Can you take that information, hold it long enough to then use it when you need to, for example, on the day of a test.

DR. AMY: Right. I think that’s a great example and it gives us the opportunity to talk about, “Hey, what could have happened?” Right. So for Mom to say, “He knew it last night.” But it has to be consolidated and that happens during sleep. And so let’s say you studied it and you were able to regurgitate it, you know, back to your mom as she was quizzing you last night, but then you didn’t get quality restorative sleep, right? Maybe because after you studied, you decided to log onto the computer and game for three hours. You were drinking a monster, you know, caffeine drink while you were gaming for three hours. And so you might have thought that you got restorative sleep for the three hours prior to waking up for school. But if you didn’t, so if you didn’t get restorative sleep, then those memories might not have been consolidated. So sleep is super important for that process. And it actually demonstrates how, you know, when college students pull an all-nighter, right, they literally have studied it and gone straight to the class and regurgitated it. But if they had stayed up all night and then had to regurgitate it the next day, they might not have been able to.

SANDY: They wouldn’t experience that dump. Right. And I remember that in college, right? You take the test and then it’s gone.

DR. AMY: Gone. Two weeks later, gone. Because you didn’t get to consolidate those memories right after studying. And so that’s why it’s super important to even take a nap.

SANDY: Yeah. So, you know, we’ve mentioned before, like we, at our centers, test for these skills so that we can kind of see what is actually happening for an individual client. So with that in mind, let’s kind of go through some different scenarios. So if a child comes in, they do some testing and they have a really high long-term memory skills and really high working memory skills. What does that look like for them? Presumably life would be easy, right? Cause they don’t need a lot of repetitions and they got it banked right away.

DR. AMY: Yeah. So let me, let me just say first that testing is a snapshot in time and memory is a process or a construct, while a test is a task. And so you’re choosing a small task that hopefully represents performance or strength in an entire process. And so we can’t possibly test all aspects of memory with a single task. Right? So it is possible that someone will test high on a memory task but still not have overall strong memory, right, because it was just one aspect of memory that was tested. And then the opposite is true, right, they may score really low on a memory task but you may see memory strengths in real life, because again, there’s lots of different aspects of memory and we’re testing small tasks. So, you know, there’s implicit memory, which is how we learn to ride a bike and then we continue to ride a bike for the rest of our lives, right? So we aren’t actually saying, “Okay, now I’m going to push this pedal and then I’m going to swing my leg around and push the next pedal”, right? It happens automatically. So it’s also called procedural memory, right? So once you’ve learned to ride a bike, then you ride a bike implicitly–it just happens, right? But then there’s explicit memory where we learn something and then we regurgitate that. Like we learn the capitals of all of the states right and then we can turn around and answer those capitals and states on a test, right? So those are totally different types of memories, just like autobiographical memories. “Hey, I went on this trip to the Grand Canyon and here’s what happened. And I can like visualize, you know, everything that I saw, I can remember the sounds, I can remember the smells.” So that’s a totally different type of memory, again, than learning unrelated. Like not semantic type of trivia or facts, for example.

SANDY: Gotcha. Okay. So how is the testing then helpful?

DR. AMY: Well, the testing is helpful because it does give us a snapshot of what might be explaining what you’re seeing in real life. Or it gives us the opportunity to say, “Hey, wow, there may be aspects of this client’s memory that aren’t weak, this aspect is. And here’s how it might impact their ability to think and learn.” And that might correlate with what you’re actually seeing.

SANDY: Gotcha. Okay.

DR. AMY: So it’s not perfect. Testing is not perfect, but it’s a great bit of information that can help explain what’s happening in real life or what could happen, right? So even if you haven’t seen that week skill show up somewhere yet, it may be because that child’s only in second grade, right? And they’re not going to need that aspect of memory until eighth grade. But hey, we better remediate it now.

SANDY: Okay. So I guess then back to my question, if in that aspect of testing, a student comes in with relatively strong working memory and long-term memory, one thing that I like to share with families is, you know, in general, that is a benefit because again, you don’t have to study a lot, right? You don’t, the working memory, you don’t need to hit that material over and over and over again in order to get it to stick. And so a lot of times, what I see in the center is when those areas are strong, but they’re in my center because there’s a weak area somewhere else, I often say, you know, those kiddos tend to run off memory or those adults tend to run off memory. They just, they remember things. So they keep on running. Do you see that too? In terms of when memory is strong, it’s a nice little talent or gift, right? I had friends who had that photographic memory, right? They could, they look at it one time and it was like emblazoned in their brain never to be forgotten. They could tell you the page number. My husband can do the same thing with, you know, catalog numbers for work. Like you can just recite them off. He knows exactly what they are. He doesn’t have to study the way I would have to study or go back and look again and again and again, because I have weaker working memory. But what are your thoughts there when you have those strong skills.

DR. AMY: Yeah, let me give you two examples of how strong memory can actually mask weaknesses in other areas.

SANDY: Oh, that’s, yeah, good.

DR. AMY: Yeah, so I was one of those people who had a photographic memory. So I could actually, you know, that  I would look at the question on the test and I could visualize the exact page in the textbook that that answer was on. I could see the page in my mind and then I could answer the question on the test. And so that’s how I got through college, right? I had an amazing memory. When I got to grad school, the tasks that we were given were application tasks, not regurgitation of facts. And so that first test where I was expected to apply the knowledge, not just regurgitate the knowledge, I was paralyzed, right? I did not have the reasoning skills to answer the questions. So I fell apart, right, because I had really poor reasoning skills. I had never had to use them before, right? So like, I had to learn how to reason in order to do well in school. So it was masking my inability to have, you know, good logic. And then another example is my son, Evan, who had such a great memory, he was able to memorize words in elementary school. So he appeared to be a strong reader, but he couldn’t spell. And he couldn’t spell because he had poor auditory processing skills. He didn’t know how to decode and encode, right? He could only memorize words. And so that memory was masking his inability to actually manipulate sounds.

SANDY: Okay. So, I mean, that ties into, you know, during COVID, there was a big swell of discussion between balanced literacy and what we call the science of reading. And that is really highlighting what you’re saying there. You know, when we were in that balance of literacy sort of place, we were really putting a lot of pressure on memory in order to teach kids how to read without addressing the auditory processing issue. And that’s where the science of reading has kind of come in to help that, bring that back up to speed.

DR. AMY: Absolutely. I mean, we had this interesting pendulum swing in the ‘80s and ‘90s where as educators, we thought, well, if we immerse kids in a print-rich environment and read to them all the time, just expose them to books and print, they will automatically learn to read, right? Because they will memorize what they’re seeing and hearing from us as we read to them. And while print-rich environments are important and reading to children is vitally important, that does not give them the auditory processing skills that they need to be fluent readers. And so that mistake that we made as educators showed up several years later, you know, in the national reading panels assessment of, you know, our kids’ in the United States ability to read. In this case, their inability to read. Because only something like 35 percent of eighth graders could read fluently in the early 2000s. And it hasn’t improved a lot since then.

SANDY: Right. So we’ve talked about what if those two skills are high. It’s a gift. It’s a great thing, but it can mask if there’s other issues that are causing some learning struggle that might show up later on down the road. What if we’ve got really strong long-term memory, but our working memory is weak? What does that look like? And how would that show up as a frustration point?

DR. AMY: Yeah, so typically, if we saw a strong long-term memory, but a weak working memory, there’s probably an attention skill deficit happening at the same time, because working memory is going to require some level of focus right in order to hold on to the information long enough to act on it. And so we would see that. It would look like an attention problem, and not necessarily a memory problem.

SANDY: Gotcha. I always think for this one, this is definitely a parent sticking point, right? And kind of sometimes it can end up in that behavioral frustration for parents of, you know, he remembers what he wants to remember, right? I get that all the time.  But sometimes it helps them to see, like, actually, no, it’s dumping. One of my visuals, I like to think of as working memory is kind of like a bucket with two holes in the bottom and one hole might be bigger than the other. Like, if I see it, it might dump faster than if I heard it or vice versa, or they might both dump quickly. But I think it takes the pressure off for parents to realize actually a working memory weakness means I need to rethink how I give instructions, like we talked about at the very beginning. I need to figure out how to help them build that skill so that they’re not frustrated. Because like you said, at the very beginning, it’s actually more frustrating to the child or the adult who struggles with working memory because they forget easily. And that is a frustration point in work and in life with your loved ones. It just is a sticking point. And so understanding that skill of working memory is really, really important.

DR. AMY: Yeah, and so I want to talk a little bit about the differences that we see in auditory working memory versus visual working memory. So Miller did some, he was a psychologist, who did some interesting research, and he said that we typically can remember 7 plus or minus 2 things, right? We can keep 7 plus or minus 2 things in working memory, so 5 to 9 things. And so we held on to that belief for a really long time, but some more recent research suggests that it’s more like four. Like we can hold about four things in working memory at the same time. But then when we look at other research that looks at the difference between visual working memory and auditory working memory, we seem to be able to hold more things visually than auditorily. And so, there was this one study that showed we can hold 16 things, visual characteristics, in our working memory at the exact same time. But auditory four, right? So if we recognize that, okay, so our children probably can hold more information visually than they can verbally in their working memory, then what can we do to help that, right? And so that’s why we talk about how important visuals can be. We talk about when we teach a concept, if we use a visual, it will help people understand in the moment and maybe even bank it away. But even if we use visual prompts for sequential instructions, right? If we have a printed schedule, you know, on the wall and you say, “Okay, I need you to brush your teeth, put your pajamas on, and read a story before you go to bed.” If we’ve got a visual of our schedule, right, that can help our kids actually process those instructions, they might be able to hold on to it long enough to get those done.

SANDY: Okay. That’s a great point. So let’s talk about it the last way, the flip way. What if working memory is really strong, but long-term memory is really, really weak? I tend to see that in my center or I get feedback from parents in that, let’s take a homeschool family that I just talked to recently, for example, where every day feels like Groundhog Day. They go through the task of doing a lesson, for example, in reading. And then the next day, the child has no idea. It didn’t stick. It feels like Groundhog Day. It feels like it’s all brand-new information to them and they have to start right back at zero. Can you expound on that? Is that typically what we tend to see?

DR. AMY: So it’s very rare for a child without a brain injury to have a true long-term memory deficit. So there’s usually something happening in the environment that is keeping that child from encoding that information into long term. So it isn’t that their hippocampus is broken, right? It’s that something’s happening in the encoding process that’s preventing them from banking it away. And so then we have to look at, so are we, are we flooding them with too much information at one time? Are there Too many things happening that maybe if this child has an attention problem, right, that they’re paying attention to all of the wrong things and not the one thing we need them to pay attention to. And then it also goes back to, are they stressed? Are they sleeping? Are they eating well? Because it’s a holistic issue when there’s a long-term memory deficit typically.

SANDY: Okay. So let’s talk about cognitive overload and how that can impact the amygdala and what happens to memory in that case.

DR. AMY: Yeah. So there are lots of things that can create cognitive overload. One of those is simply the way that instructional materials are designed. So, for example, if you have a diagram. But the explanation of the diagram is not right next to it. That can create cognitive load or cognitive overload. Because you’re having to split your visual attention on the page even. And so we don’t think about that. You know, as well, it’s not going to fit right there. So we need, we can put it, you know, an asterisk and then, you know, put the description at the bottom of the page and that creates cognitive load. And so when that happens, it can create frustration. And frustration can then prompt the release of cortisol because frustration is stressful. And so when you get even a fight-or-flight response— I’ve talked about before that the brain doesn’t know the difference between a real emergency and chronic stress, it responds the exact same way. And so if, if cortisol starts coursing through our veins, then that impacts how our brain is functioning. And so it is going to be a, “Okay, here’s what you have to do in the moment to survive.” And not, “Here’s what I’m going to encode for later use in long-term memory.”

SANDY: Okay, that’s a really great point. So, let’s talk about, let’s switch gears a little bit. We’ve talked about these different kinds of memory, what it looks like. How do you help remediate memory? How do you build skill?

DR. AMY: Yeah, I think that’s a great question. And Sandy, you do that all day, every day. So, I would love for you to share how you do it.

SANDY: Well, I think what’s really amazing about the program we use now, we use LearningRx’s program. Their ThinkRx program is our main program that we use. But it’s kind of like what you described. It’s that intensity that helps build that resilience, to then also build memory. Memory has to be targeted by practicing memory tasks. Right? And I think what makes it challenging in today’s world is we really don’t have to remember very much. We don’t practice that skill of memory and day to day anymore. We don’t memorize phone numbers, which I have to memorize, you know?

DR. AMY: Directions.

SANDY:  Right! Directions. Like, we just don’t have to memorize a whole lot anymore. We’ve moved away from that. And, you know, part of my hill I’ll stand on as we might need to move back to that because it’s hurting our kids to [not] be able to build that memory capacity. But everything’s in the palm of our hand, right? We all have phones or, you know, the internet. That skill of memory doesn’t get practiced a whole lot. So being able to practice memory, but also practice it alongside other skills, right? Having lots of repetition with intensity that helps build the skill of memory because you’re building that resilience, right? You’re taking away the frustration as much as you can to help build that, that skill over and over again. So we have hundreds of actual activities that we use that hit memory, both long-term and working memory. But I think probably my favorite ones are the ones that really use that visual piece that you were just talking about a minute ago. Learning how to hook things to visual cues to help us to remember. Maybe you want to share a little bit more about what that looks like or what I mean by that. But we it’s that hooking that gives us a little place to put that memory so that we can hold it.

DR. AMY: So we do have a tendency to remember things that have meaning behind them more than just arbitrary facts. And so what Sandy’s saying by hooking things means that if we can attach a fact to something meaningful, it will help us remember it. For example, we have this really fun long-term memory task where every client that comes to our centers can learn every president in order and recite them in order forwards and backwards in less than a minute by the time that they have gone through all of the different levels of difficulty of this task. And the way that they remember is not just by memorizing the names of the presidents, but we use visual cues. So fun pictures, diagrams that help them remember the names of the presidents because they’re attached to these connected images.

SANDY: So I love, I love that one for lots of reasons, but we apply that to real life too. So we help students use that same skill and just like their homework studies, how do we apply this to learning things I have to learn for a test? But the best example I give is, how many of us can do the ABCs without singing it, right? That’s attached to an auditory memory, like a song. We can’t see it. There’s no hook. So sometimes if you ask me, like what letter comes after L, I might have to sing the song in order to get to. The answer that you asked, but if I had given it a visual hook, if I had really given myself that ability to see it. Then I could visually see it. Just like when we did in our very first video in this series, where we were spelling the name of a president backwards, having the skill of seeing it is much stronger because I’ve got. A place to land. I’ve got a place that I can kind of work through it and not feel too overwhelmed by the task versus if I had to do it auditorily, that makes it a little bit more challenging. And why is that important? It’s important because it enables you to be able to encode things in a way that’s interesting to you. Right? I like that. It’s creative. I think the problem that we have with most memorization, things and tools that we use in education today is that they’re adult-driven. They’re adult, you know, they’re flashcards. They’re things that don’t enable the student to then encode for themselves that memory, that piece of information. Because it’s going to be more powerful if they do it versus if they’re just reciting things off a list.

DR. AMY: Yeah, and I think if, if we look at football as kind of an analogy here, so a quarterback has to remember dozens and dozens of potential plays, right? And so while they’re in the moment on the field, the coach is calling the play and the quarterback has to remember what that looks like. Well, and arguably everyone on the field needs to remember what that looks like. And so they have diagrammed that, right? So they’ve got X’s and O’s on diagrams that help them remember what that play should look like. But to go one step further for a quarterback, the best quarterbacks visualize where the ball could be before they even throw it, right? So the fact that they’re using some visual imagery along with, “Okay, if I throw it down the field to this person in this section of the field …” Right? Like it isn’t just verbal direction, right? There’s some visualization to it as well. And so when we engage those multiple areas of the brain, then it strengthens our ability to remember things.

SANDY: Well, this probably is a good place to stop because we could get into the weeds pretty heavily if we haven’t already about memory. Because it is such a big umbrella skill that we’re talking about and there’s so many sub pieces to it. Let’s give our listeners some tools that might be helpful to them. What do we have that they could take home today, go to our website, download and start practicing working memory.

DR. AMY: Yeah, so we have a game pack that has some actual brain training, cognitive skills-building activities that you can actually try with your kids or yourself, to see and feel what building cognitive skills is all about. And so, you can download that for free. And then Dr. Ken Gibson, who created the LearningRx methods for training the brain, wrote a book called “Unlock the Einstein Inside,” and so we offer the free ebook PDF version of that on the website as well. And so we are going to put a link to both of those. In our show notes or you can go to and download those for free as well. And just get an idea of what, not just memory, but all of the cognitive skills, what it feels like to train those and why.

SANDY: If you need an example, you can follow me on TikTok at the brain trainer lady. I do try to share examples of what training would look like, especially for memory tasks. If you’re a visual person and you just need to see it, we can try to help you that way as well. Um, but that’s all we have for today on long term memory and working memory. We thank you guys for listening and staying with us, and we hope you have a great rest of your week.

DR. AMY: Hey, thanks for joining us for another episode of the Brandy Moms Podcast. If you’d like more information about cognitive skills training or cognitive assessment, you can visit learning or call 1 8 6 6 brain zero one to find a center near you or simply to ask questions or find out more information about how LearningRx might be able to help you or your child think better or learn easier.