Listening Topic: Psychology – TV program about how to improve memory

A. Listen to the TV news report about the Boot Camp for the Brain. As you listen, underline the topics below.

Examples of memory problems

What happens at Boot Camp for the Brain

Childhood memories

A research study

What other scientists think

Using memory to prepare for college exams

B. Listen to the report again. As you listen, choose the correct answer to complete each statement. Listen again if necessary.

1   The Boot Camp for the Brain is ____.

      a   a two-week program

      b   a two-month program

      c   a three-week program

2   The program includes ____.

      a   only memory exercises

      b   memory exercises and a special diet

      c   memory exercises, a special diet, physical activity, and stress-relieving exercises

3   After the program, memory tests showed Michele Rubin’s memory to be ____.

      a   average for her age

      b   equal to a 40-year-old person

      c   equal to a 20-year-old person

4   As a way to exercise her brain, Michele Rubin now helps her children with ____.

      a   math puzzles

      b   their math homework

      c   their reading homework

 Dr. Small’s study showed that people who did the program had ____.

      a   more efficiency in the front of their brains

      b   more efficiency in the back of their brains

      c   more efficiency in all of their brains

 Other scientists feel that ____.

      a   the program definitely works

      b   the program doesn’t work

       the program might work, but there needs to be more research



Examples of memory problems

What happens at Boot Camp for the Brain

Childhood memories

A research study

What other scientists think

Using memory to prepare for college exams


1 a   2 c   3 c   4 b   5 a   6 c


Many people worry about memory loss. It’s normal to lose memory as you get older. In fact, memory loss can begin when someone is in their twenties. But how much of your memory do you have to lose, and how quickly does it have to happen? Research on the brain and memory is a huge area these days. Doctors are looking for ways to help people improve their memory and possibly prevent loss.

Today on the show, we’re looking at one program to help memory, called The Boot Camp for the Brain. What’s The Boot Camp for the Brain? It’s a two-week program developed by a psychiatrist named Gary Small. His program combines four elements: a special diet, daily physical activity, stress relieving exercises and, of course, memory exercises. The memory exercises take about 15 minutes a day. Dr. Small claims that this combination can improve your brain’s function.

Michele Rubin is one of Dr. Small’s success stories. Rubin is a 46-year-old mother of three teenagers. At the start of the program, her memory tested as average for her age. When she took memory tests after the program, her memory was equal to a 20-year-old person. Rubin says that a few years ago she started to feel that she was forgetting things and that her memory was not as good as it used to be. She says that the program was life-changing. Since the program, in addition to exercising more and improving her diet, she has started using memory strategies, reading non-fiction and doing crossword puzzles. She also helps her children with their math homework as a way to work her brain.

Dr. Small says that he has evidence that the two-week boot camp program does in fact change the brain. He did a study with 17 volunteers. All of the volunteers had mild memory complaints. Dr. Small randomly chose eight people to participate in The Boot Camp for the Brain, and the remaining nine people did nothing different.

They did brain scans on all 17 people before and after the program. Dr. Small says that the eight people who participated developed significantly more efficient brain cell activity in a front part of the brain that controls everyday memory tasks. The people who participated also said that they felt less forgetful after the program.

Dr. Small emphasizes that this study was very small and that a larger study is needed. But, he still feels that the results are important. Other scientists say they are cautiously optimistic about Small’s approach. They feel more research is needed, but say it’s possible that The Boot Camp for the Brain could delay serious memory problems.

Michele Rubin and many others who have participated in the program believe that it has definitely helped their memory.

So, if you’re worried about your memory, The Boot Camp for the Brain might be worth looking into. Tomorrow, we’re going to look at some other programs and ideas for improving memory.

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