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The best way to retain holiday memories doesn’t involve smartphones


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As students, smartphones can often seem like our key to the world - especially when on the road: an easy way to communicate with friends, source directions, and capture lasting pictures.

However, a team of experts have concluded that it may be time to swap your smartphone for the simpler, more authentic pen and paper if you’re looking to make your holiday memories last longer.


A recent study by sensory experts has ruled that drawing a picture is more effective than snapping a photograph or filming a video.

According to science drawing a picture stimulates multiple senses, whereas taking a photo only activates one sense: sight. While filming excites at most two senses, sight and hearing, drawing or painting a picture can draw on up to four different senses, meaning that the memory can be sustained in the brain far longer.

Drawing has been proven to stimulate multiple senses at the same time including sight, touch, and sound, but also the lesser known sense “proprioception” or “position sense”, which enables the brain to cement a memory to increase its durability.

Sketching a picture is also advantageous for memory retention as it requires physical action with the hands as well as the visual brain, and things created by ourselves also become more meaningful and memorable.

Oxford University sensory expert, Professor Charles Spence, studied a group of 2,000 adults, from which he concluded that half the population suffer from “digital amnesia”, an engrained reliance on smart phones and similar technology to store memories on their behalf.

Apparently, the average British holidaymaker will experience their memories deteriorating within two weeks

smelling flowers

Professor Spence claims: “Our love affair with the digital image and growing affiliation to the ‘if it’s not on social it didn’t happen’ mantra, could be inadvertently fuelling a memory bank deficit.”

Take Professor Charles Spence’s quiz online to find out how connected to your senses you really are: 

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