Health & Spirit

Move your mouth to move words into your long-term memory

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

In Mel Brook's 1976 movie "Young Frankenstein," Fredrick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder), grandson of the original Dr. F., recaptures his erratically behaving Monster (Peter Boyle). He then tries to show the nervous townsfolk just how bright and good-natured his creature is by preforming a dancing and singing duet of "Putting on the Ritz." And, after some rehearsal (we assume), the monster remembers and performs every word.

The scene is hilarious, but there's solid science there: The monster's borrowed brain was demonstrating a technique that can give you a monster memory, too! Speaking -- or singing and dancing -- out loud improves long-term memory!

In a new study, researchers from Canada's University of Waterloo had groups of students focus on dozens of words either by hearing a recording of their own voice saying the words, by hearing someone else say them, by reading the words silently or by reading them aloud. Then, the students were shown words and asked if they had just studied them or not. Those who read the words aloud were far more able to remember correctly, around 77 percent of the time.

Seems combining reading and vocalization activates two parts of the brain and involves physical motion -- a sure-fire way to strengthen memory muscles. So the next time you want to remember a phone number or a document at work, find a spot where you can read it aloud. (BTW, it doesn't have to be loud.) And if anyone asks, you're not talking to yourself, you're doing brain exercises!


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Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2018Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2018 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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