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memory is improved by using the fact that you tend to remember the first and last things you tried to remember, you also remember the more unusual things, and things that are more concrete (less abstract). Active involvement with the facts (ie organising them) is often as effective as deliberately trying to learn them.
REGISTRATION is the process of becoming aware of new facts, and making an active effort to remember them. This involves having a good enough DISCRIMINATION between similar facts to be able to DIFFERENTIATE between them and to see them as distinct.
Without this, no matter how well you later recall the facts, you have lost too much information to reconstruct the original facts.
This can be helped by refinement of discernment, and by rehearsal and by spacing out the re-presentation of the same facts over a day or two.
RETENTION is the storing of the new facts in memory, and is best demonstrated by the ability to recognise the facts that you have previously observed (registered).
RECALL, is the ability to present the facts that you recognise when you need them. This function appears to get worse with age, but research shows that it does so due to the number of intervening events providing interference. This is not currently an inevitable condition, because as you age you have more unique experiences to compare things to, and as long as you try and integrate your new experiences with your older knowledge, this shouldn't be a problem.