How to train your working memory with FrontRead

With FrontRead, you can improve your reading comprehension by increasing your reading speed and learning new reading techniques. But did you know that you can also train and strengthen parts of your memory? Through the exercises in FrontRead, you train more than just being able to read faster and understand more of the text: You expand the range of your eyes so that you can fit more words in your field of vision, and you practice becoming better at fixating and recognising patterns. With the right reading technique, you can also improve your concentration and avoid mind wandering while reading.

How does this relate to your memory? To find the answer, let’s first look at the different types of memory.

The five types of memory

Our brain is a marvellous organ and modern research is shedding more and more light on the incredible secrets it holds. In particular, our understanding of human memory benefits greatly from science’s numerous discoveries. We used to think of memory as a three-part system consisting of 1. working memory, 2. short-term memory and 3. long-term memory. However most modern researchers operate with a five-part system for memory consisting of:

  • Short-term memory (working memory)
  • Episodic memory (explicit, conscious)
  • Long-term memory
  • Semantic memory (explicit, conscious)
  • Procedural memory (implicit, unconscious)

Today, short-term memory and working memory are considered part of the same system, as both are short-term, temporary memory systems with limited resources. It is this memory that we use when solving tasks, talking to others, remembering phone numbers and shopping lists, among other things. Roughly speaking, it is short-term memory that we use when we are doing something. Many of the things we store in this memory disappear shortly after use. For example, we remember phone numbers long enough to write them down on paper or on the phone and then, in many cases, they disappear again. On average, we can hold up to 7 items at a time, after which the capacity is exhausted for the vast majority.

New types have also been added, two of which are conscious and one unconscious. The two conscious memory types are episodic and semantic. In episodic memory, we store personal memories of events from our lives. For example, the memory of a first kiss. Semantic memory is where we store knowledge and facts about our world.

Procedural memory stores our learnt skills. It is this memory that remembers how we speak, read, walk, cycle and run, among other things. While many of the elements that this memory stores are basic and come naturally to us, others require maintenance. Speaking a foreign language or playing an instrument are skills that we lose over time if we don’t actively hold on to them or otherwise practice them regularly.

FrontRead and the exercises

With FrontRead, you train different aspects of reading to increase your reading comprehension. The programme helps you achieve this goal by, among other things, increasing your reading speed, expanding your eye span and training your fixation and pattern recognition.

Since our short-term memory, previously considered our working memory, operates with limited resources, it can be beneficial to utilise its capacity to the fullest.

Training with FrontRead gives you the tools to utilise these resources to read with maximum benefit. When you train your fixation and pattern recognition, you learn to recognise words without having to pause in the text. You’ll learn to fixate on the words quickly while getting better at recognising the words in the future. In this way, you practise reading at an increased speed. When you also train your eyes to accommodate more letters and words in your field of vision, you will be able to read up to 3 times faster than today.

Roughly speaking, this means that you learn to process more with the same resources. Reading faster also allows you to minimise the inner voice that we can experience while reading. This voice is common for many people and is known as silent vocalisation. It is often the one that dictates the pace. The inner voice can’t read faster than you can speak, so the speed is around 200-260 words per minute. However, your brain can handle up to 600 words every minute, and in some cases even more. Since the brain can handle almost 3 times as many words, it may not necessarily be stimulated while reading. This can often lead to mind wandering, where you start thinking about other things rather than focusing on reading.

When you read faster, you also automatically mute your inner voice, which stimulates your brain to increase concentration. Your brain perceives more than you may realise – even when you’re reading, if given the chance.

With the right reading techniques, you can also increase concentration and reading comprehension. FrontRead gives you the tools to read in a way that actively engages with the content of the text as you read. The programme helps you ask questions about the text, identify meaning keys and ways to gain prior knowledge of the content before reading. With this prior knowledge, you’ll have the energy to be curious about the text and identify the meaning keys, as you now have an idea of the content.

FrontRead and memory

FrontRead gives you the tools to increase your reading comprehension, and with the exercises you also train aspects of your memory. The exercises train your short-term memory by giving you the tools to increase your concentration and focus while reading. It also strengthens your semantic memory as you learn to understand more of the texts you have to deal with.

As with other tools, the greatest impact is realised if you keep practicing. The same goes for reading. When you practice FrontRead’s reading training even after the programme, it becomes part of your procedural memory. Over time, you will acquire the new reading habits that will one day become natural to you.

Read more about working memory below.