The way we recall something, and how much of it we can remember, depends on the neural networks where it is stored. Brain researcher Kaja Nordengen, in her book Your Superstar Brain: Unlocking The Secrets Of The Human Mind (Hachette India, 399), shares some tips on how to improve this memory. Nordengen says concentration plays a big role in trying to store new information. And both concentration and memory are affected by stress and sleep deprivation.  

Think about it, if you have a big meeting coming up, you start worrying about it and even your sleep gets disturbed. In such a situation, it is best to focus on what you need to remember well in advance.

Today, she says, we undertake far more tasks that demand abstract thought and reasoning than we used to, and we are less reliant on practical, hands-on skills.

Scientists make a distinction between fluid intelligence—the part which remains stable throughout adult life—and crystallized intelligence—which relates to the ability to make the most of your opportunities. While you cannot change fluid intelligence, you can enhance crystallized intelligence to realize your potential.