Memory: A's from zzzz's
AT JUST 21, Joshua Koh is the youngest person in South-east Asia to be awarded the title of International Master of Memory at last year's 24th World Memory Championships in Chengdu, China.
But others can also learn to boost their capability.
"An individual would have to keep his brain active," said Mr Koh.
He added that concentration and focusing are the key for better memory, even "without any memory techniques".
Getting sufficient sleep is another way to keep your brain "fresh and fully charged", said Mr Koh, who is ranked first in Singapore for Memory Sport.
As for simple everyday things anyone can do to improve his memory, he said people could work their brains more by doing puzzles.
Alternatively, try memorising telephone numbers, addresses or even the sequence of a deck of playing cards.
"These activities will help stimulate the brain and make it more active so as to enhance an individual's memory," said Mr Koh, who is completing his diploma in computer science at FTMSGlobal Academy.
"Also, just paying more attention to the smaller details would allow an individual to be able to memorise and recall things better."
Still, the best way to remember something is in a creative way, he said.
"An individual can link up the information he has to remember by putting them together and forming an interesting and wacky story out of it."
This creates a deeper impression of the information and retains it in one's memory for a longer time.
Mr Koh said many people think having a "super memory" is a superpower of some sort.
"It is not," he clarified.
"Memory training is actually pretty much like any other physical sport which requires hours of training and dedication to perfect the craft."
And it is not just the young who can pick it up.
"As long as one is willing to learn and pick up the skill, everyone can see the improvements in his memory for sure," he said.
Singapore is holding two competitions this year - the first Singapore National Memory Championships, from Sept 9 to 11, and the 25th World Memory Championships, held here for the first time from Dec 14 to 18.
For more information, visit www.ttminternational.net