SEMANTIC MEMORY

cerveau-memoire semantique fonctions cognitives

 

Semantic memory concerns knowledge of the world and language. Thanks to semantic memory, we can remember, for example, how many days there are in the week, and what they are.

Semantic memory is involved in memorizing our knowledge of the world, it’s our “mental encyclopedia”.

 

What is semantic memory?

Semantic memory stores words, ideas and concepts. Semantic memory is a long-term memory, so once we’ve acquired knowledge, it can be retained for a long time.

This memory governs our relationship with the environment, as it stores the names of objects, their functions, characteristics and uses, the names of abstract concepts and general knowledge.

Our brains can process the information stored in semantic memory. This enables us to make associations between our knowledge and to understand the world, or to make more complex reflections.

Semantic memory disorders

Following an incident, trauma or illness, semantic memory can be impaired. This can lead to difficulties in learning new concepts or finding the right words.

Semantic dementia: in this case, there is a difficulty in understanding the meaning of a concept, in finding its significance. However, it is fluid when it comes to following a pattern (if I have eyesight problems, I go to the optician).
Lesions in the prefrontal cortex: in this case, the person is able to understand all the words he hears and gives them the right meaning. But they are unable to make connections between concepts and create or follow patterns.
Alzheimer’s disease: one of the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease is forgetting words. Semantic memory is therefore affected in this disease, and this can be one of the first symptoms leading to early diagnosis. Recognizing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease early on can help to provide better support for Alzheimer’s sufferers during the course of the disease.

     

    Exercises to train and improve semantic memory

    Semantic memory is a cognitive function that can be improved throughout life. We can train it as a preventive measure, but also to recover skills lost through illness.

    Learning new languages or traveling can help us discover new words, and make associations that keep the brain active.

    Reading books can also be useful for learning new words, or for remembering those you already know. Reading newspapers is also highly recommended for training semantic memory. With newspapers, you can make associations with new information and information from days gone by.

    Mental agility is a function that enables us to adapt quickly to the environment around us, to a situation or to a stimulus. It’s thanks to mental agility that we can cope with different situations and know what to do depending on the context and the people we’re with.

    Our brains are capable of memorizing the effects of our actions, and can predict which behavior will have the best result depending on the situation, making the task flow smoothly, quickly and efficiently.

     

    What is mental agility?

    Mental agility is the ability to modify one’s behavior or thinking by adapting to the context. This skill is linked to the speed of our thinking. Indeed, when faced with a situation, we must not only find the right strategy, but do so as quickly as possible.

    During our lives, we learn how to handle situations, what words to use or what behavior to have in certain contexts, and we memorize strategies for solving problems.

    Mental agility enables us to explore all the knowledge we have, and choose the best resources to use. We must therefore be able to quickly find the best strategy and implement it. Finally, we need to be able to modify our strategy and behavior according to feedback, to see whether the chosen strategy is effective or not.

    This skill makes it easy to adapt to new situations.

     

    Mental agility disorders

    When we talk about mental agility disorders, we’re talking about slow processing speed. This can be caused by pathologies or developmental disorders, such as ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia or auditory processing disorder.

    These difficulties can cause learning difficulties in children, or difficulties in planning goals, solving problems with logical strategies, or ultimately reducing the possibility of modifying one’s thoughts and behaviors.

    Processing speed also coexists with autism spectrum disorders, and with other pathologies such as dementia (Alzheimer’s) or illnesses such as schizophrenia, where processing speed is greatly affected.

    Mental agility disorders can occur at any age. That’s why it’s so important to train this cognitive function.

     

    Exercises to train and improve mental agility

    To improve mental agility, and therefore your speed of reasoning, it’s important to develop your own strategies.

    The first thing to do is to strengthen the connections in the brain. To do this, it’s important to try and make logical connections in everyday situations. For example, when you go shopping, you can think of the best route to take according to your experience (last time you went for the eggs first, but it’s better to take them afterwards), or a recipe made with the ingredients you see.

    When faced with a problem, try to think of all possible solutions, even the most absurd ones. This exercise helps you to find other solutions, and not just focus on one strategy.

    Our games for semantic memory training

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    • The musical ear
    • Colormind
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    • The musical ear
    • Colormind
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    • The musical ear
    • Colormind

    Semantic memory is the cognitive function that enables us to record all information related to the environment.

    This information is stored according to categories. Our brains also enable us to create connections between information. Here’s how we use semantic memory in everyday life.

     

    1. Memorizing knowledge

    Semantic memory enables us to learn and memorize general knowledge about the environment, other people, or abstract concepts.

    It is thanks to semantic memory that we can have a good general knowledge. This function is very important for learning at school, but also in the working environment.

    Quizzle

     

    In this game, you have to answer general knowledge questions.
    With this game, the player stimulates the search for knowledge. It’s not just about understanding words, it’s also about following a pattern to find the right answer. If you don’t know the right answer, you can also use semantic memory to rule out wrong answers and find the right one, thanks to the logic of exclusion.

    trivia quizz to work on memory

    2. Vocabulary memory

    Semantic memory enables us to name and give meaning to objects, people and abstract concepts. This enables us to expand our vocabulary and create more complex sentences. Language is essential for communicating with others. The more words we know, the easier it will be to understand others and make ourselves understood.

    Brainstorm

     

    In this game, the player has to put the words in the right order to create sentences. You need to understand the words in your vocabulary, but you can also learn new ones. Word order is important, because a sentence maakes sense when it’s well-structured and coherent. What’s more, the sentences in this game are proverbs, so we can also work on our knowledge of them.

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    3. Creating abstract concepts

     

    In our memory, information is stored in categories, but our brain can create connections between information. This enables us to use all the information at our disposal to find the best solution. This function is also based on our experience, so we can create concepts according to the experiences we’ve had.

    Intruder hunt

     

    In this game, you have to read 4 words and find the intruder between them.
    With this activity, you can stimulate semantic memory, as you have to understand the words and find their meaning. What’s more, to find the intruder, you have to find an association between 3 of the words presented and find the category to which they belong. This game is a great way of simultaneously working out the meaning of a concept and creating mental schemas. The categories to be found are often abstract concepts.

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    4. Interpreting gestures and symbols

    Language and general knowledge come not only through spoken language, but also through writing (symbols) and body language (gestures). So we need to be able to recognize these gestures and symbols too, if we are to understand everything around us. Indeed, gestures and symbols are important not only for communicating with others, but also for understanding the context in which we find ourselves.

    Lost Poem

     

    In this game, you read a poem and then recall the missing words.
    Here, we’re working on reading, and therefore on understanding words (which are symbols).

    What’s more, once you’ve read the poem, you have to find the missing words, so you also have to work on vocabulary and word meaning.

    poemeperdu-poesie-memoire-joe-jeux-cognition-entrainementcerebral-tablette-stimulation-cerveau-adultes-seniors

    COCO THINKS and COCO MOVES

    A version for children aged 5 to 10

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    CLINT

    A preventive version for seniors

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    SCARLETT

    An easy-to-use version for seniors

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