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I'm curious as this question relates to my life presently.

Is there a limit to how much the brain can retain ? As in, if I studied for xx amount of hours will the retention start to dwindle?

I'm not talking about methods of studying ( As in breaks, etc..) Im mostly concerned with for say.... a daily retention rate.

Basically,

I'm about to start graduate school in the fall.

I also would like to earn my A+ Certification (Computers) and I'd like to earn my IRS VITA tax ceritifcation.

I have an ample amount of time to study. I;m not concerned with my self discipline as I've always completed everything I've set out forth. Im just wondering if there would be any way I'd be wasting time with studying once I reach a certain point in a day.

Thanks.

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Well, I would think that eventually the brain wouldn't be able to hold any more information.

Have you seen Indiana Jones Crystal Skull? One person asked for all of the knowledge of the universe, and her brain exploded.

So the brain's capacity isn't unlimited, but as long as you don't want to know all the facts of the universe, you're fine =)

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Put it this way.....there's no limit to how much you can learn, but there is a limit to how much you can remember......:D

in other words, you can keep learning, but unless you're a twilight vampire......retaining information is not very easy...... :D

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What might work best, is to study for a small length of time and see how much you can remember, working up in the length of time until you get to a point you can't remember everything you studied. Every-one's brain works differently, and will retain different levels of retention. It can be trained and exercised though. :thumbsup:

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Conveniently I just picked up a book about memory and after the first chapter my question was answered :) I'll quote the book

"Actually to say remembering too much can clutter your mind is an irnoic memory myth. Becuase most people's minds are already cluttered- and they don't remember enough !

Your ability to remember something depends less on how much material you have stored in your memory than it does how you learned it"

Then he says

" Because the storage capacity of your memor is virtually unlimited"

Your memory

-Dr Hgbee

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funny - I did a bunch of chapters in psychology about memory - but i can't remember any of them :lol:

But seriously 'spacing' always works better than 'cramming' by the way. Space out the learning over the weeks before the examination is better than cramming the night before. It looks like you're doing that already though. Good for you, disciple rocks :)

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I'm curious as this question relates to my life presently.

Is there a limit to how much the brain can retain ? As in, if I studied for xx amount of hours will the retention start to dwindle?

I'm not talking about methods of studying ( As in breaks, etc..) Im mostly concerned with for say.... a daily retention rate.

Basically,

I'm about to start graduate school in the fall.

I also would like to earn my A+ Certification (Computers) and I'd like to earn my IRS VITA tax ceritifcation.

I have an ample amount of time to study. I;m not concerned with my self discipline as I've always completed everything I've set out forth. Im just wondering if there would be any way I'd be wasting time with studying once I reach a certain point in a day.

Thanks.

If you've ever read Sherlock Holmes, he only ever learned anything that had to do with his profession. For instance, Watson once told him something along the lines of "Did you know the Earth traveled around the sun?" or some other sort of astronomical fact, and he replied something like "Interesting. I'll now do my best to forget that." He explained to Watson that when one gathered so much knowledge, every new learned fact replaced another. I'm not sure if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a specialist here, but thats what he (or at least his character) believed.

Edited by NickFleming

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If you've ever read Sherlock Holmes, he only ever learned anything that had to do with his profession. For instance, Watson once told him something along the lines of "Did you know the Earth traveled around the sun?" or some other sort of astronomical fact, and he replied something like "Interesting. I'll now do my best to forget that." He explained to Watson that when one gathered so much knowledge, every new learned fact replaced another. I'm not sure if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a specialist here, but thats what he (or at least his character) believed.

Considering the time he lived, I don't think that we can treat him as an expert in this regard. However, the statement does fit Holmes' character which was only narrowly interested in stuff relating to solving crimes and understanding how people will react to given situation to better understand how to trick a criminal or to elicit the truth from a suspect.

As for remembering things, I do think that barring dementia and the like, most facts stay squirreled away in memory somewhere. It's just a matter of bringing them back to the forefront when you want them. I'm not sure how apt the analogy is, but I might consider the mind a big computer hard drive, with your short-term memory (the stuff you learned/recalled more recently) being like computer memory. It's all there, but the stuff you have a more recent connection to is more readily accessible.

So you won't ever erase something that you learned, but there's no guarantee that you'll be able to recall it on command. That's something that you have to figure out how to do if you are going to need it later.

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Considering the time he lived, I don't think that we can treat him as an expert in this regard. However, the statement does fit Holmes' character which was only narrowly interested in stuff relating to solving crimes and understanding how people will react to given situation to better understand how to trick a criminal or to elicit the truth from a suspect.

As for remembering things, I do think that barring dementia and the like, most facts stay squirreled away in memory somewhere. It's just a matter of bringing them back to the forefront when you want them. I'm not sure how apt the analogy is, but I might consider the mind a big computer hard drive, with your short-term memory (the stuff you learned/recalled more recently) being like computer memory. It's all there, but the stuff you have a more recent connection to is more readily accessible.

So you won't ever erase something that you learned, but there's no guarantee that you'll be able to recall it on command. That's something that you have to figure out how to do if you are going to need it later.

A nice elctric shock to the cerebral cortex :lol: No, I don't know if that would work. And, yes, I know that brain waves are electrical impulses. Wait, are they in any way coded?

Edited by NickFleming

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A nice elctric shock to the cerebral cortex :lol: No, I don't know if that would work. And, yes, I know that brain waves are electrical impulses. Wait, are they in any way coded?

I think that's how they erased a firefighter's memory in an episode of House, because he was in love with his brother's fiancée (who wasn't his fiancée at all, he just thought she was), and he had heart attacks every time he saw her. That's a mean thing to do, I think he forgot everything. His firefighter training, even his name. He could only remember things like walking and talking

Anyway, back to the topic, I think there's a limit to how much you can learn in one day. At some point the mind gets too cluttered to retain anything, and you need some sleep to let your brain organize itself. But maybe you can train your brain to retain information in a more organized manner, so it will take longer for it to get "cluttered". I have no idea how to do that though, and I'm certainly not the right person to ask. I can't concentrate on anything for more than a minute or so. As for the total amount of memory on the brain, I don't think it has a limit. You'll remember what you need to remember. As you stop using an information, you'll start to forget details about it, until you forget it entirely. If you can "rescue" that memory from some corner of your brain, that I don't know, but if possible, it won't be easy. So I think the best way to remember something is to use the information daily, or associate it with another information you use daily.

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