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How to Improve Visual Sequential Memory

Updated April 17, 2017

Visual sequential memory allows you to remember sequences of shapes in order. This type of memory is useful if you need to remember a telephone number or the correct spelling of a word. Problems with visual sequential memory can affect one's ability to read, but fortunately, the memory can be developed and honed with a few simple exercises.

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  1. Play word games such as hangman, word searches or crossword puzzles. These games can help improve and exercise your visual sequential memory capacity.

  2. Practice memorising sequences of objects, shapes or colours. For those not yet familiar with letters or words, like young children, visual sequential memory can be developed by stringing bead patterns on necklaces, by memorising sequences of shapes or by committing a series of objects (e.g., merchandise in a store) to memory.

  3. Exchange stories about your day with a partner and then recall each other's events. This activity will help jog your visual sequential memory.

  4. Notice patterns of letters, numbers, shapes or objects within a sequence to better remember the sequence. It may help to look for patterns or repeated segments. This practice streamlines the memory process by reducing the number of units the mind must remember.

  5. Investigate herbs and vitamins that can help develop memory. Memory-enhancing supplements such as Green Tea and Ginkgo biloba can increase general memory function, including visual sequential memory, by increasing oxygen and blood flow to the brain.

  6. Draw a gallows and write the letters A to Z at the bottom of a piece of paper. Hangman is a short two-player game that can help develop and enhance visual sequential memory.

  7. Set up the puzzle. One player chooses a word or phrase and then draws a blank dash representing each letter in the word or phrase. The player who chooses the word is known as the Executioner. The Guesser chooses letters to go into the dashes. The object is to guess the word before the hangman's entire body is drawn. If the Guesser is unable to guess the word before the body is complete, the Executioner wins.

  8. Cross out each letter from the list as it is guessed. When a letter is guessed correctly, the corresponding letters in the phrase are written into the blanks to serve as clues. If an incorrect guess is made, the gallows gets one body part added to it.

  9. Continue until the Guesser figures out the word or phrase or until the hangman is fully drawn with a head, body, two arms and two legs.

  10. Tip

    Visual sequential memory-enhancing games can be played anywhere a pen and paper are handy. Play word games whenever you have a few free moments.


    Before starting any herbal supplement program, check with your physician to ensure that it is safe for your health.

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About the Author

Heather Bliss has been writing professionally since 1998, specializing in technology, computer repair, gardening, music and politics. Bliss holds an Associate of Arts in journalism from Moorpark College. She also has a Bachelor of Arts from California State University, San Marcos, completed with a focus on music and performing arts technology.

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