Right Brain Education: Developing the Right Brain Memory Function

This post is now available on the Right Brain Child:

Right Brain Activities – Linking Memory

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

15 thoughts on “Right Brain Education: Developing the Right Brain Memory Function

  1. Linking is a really great way to remember things. I use it everyday to link my to-dos and I find it really helps. I dont even need to have a piece of paper around me to take notes because I can just do it in my head 🙂 Great post


  2. I’ve been practicing with the cards for myself, but yeah, I should try doing it for my shopping lists, too. I’ve been getting Gavin to help me remember the shopping list.


  3. Just wondering, wouldn’t flashing the card in super high speed similar to animation on tv? Isn’t tv supposedly not good for kids under 2 because they can’t really see very fast moving objects or something?


  4. As I understand, the problem with TV for children under 2, is that it is not interactive and does not respond to the child’s reactions. Flash cards is supposed to be done with a real person and the interaction is with a live person so in that sense, it is not like the animations on TV.

    The other problem with TV is related to the content, e.g. animals aren’t supposed to talk and this is confusing for a baby who does not understand the world as we do. Or it might contain inappropriate stuff, like violence, scary things that children are afraid of (even things we don’t think are scary may frighten a toddler).


  5. Thanks Shen-Li for the explanation..
    In this case, is it fine to flash e-card from computer?

    Btw, I’m reading your post on Right Brain Education in Infancy by Makoto Shichida. I think it is very informative 🙂 I’m interested to read the book as well. Mind to share where to get the book in malaysia?



    1. Flashcards online are fine as long as we are the ones saying the words or describing the pictures rather than a recorded voice. Even when I use flashcards online with voice recordings, I will always repeat what is said.

      The English versions of Shichida’s books were bought directly from Shichida Japan. You can find them here:


      If you can read Chinese, I have been told that you can also buy them from Popular. As I can’t read Chinese, I have never bothered to check so I can’t tell you any more than that.


  6. Hi Shen-LI,
    Can you please expand on this :
    The teachers reported that once the children were able to remember as many as thirty cards in order, something strange happens. Some of the children are suddenly able to remember forty or fifty cards by glancing at them without using words.

    1) Does it mean, you can show a display of 40-50 cards on a chart and the children will take a photographic image of them all without your having to make up a story that links the pictures ?

    2) I am reading page 34 of Shichida’s book, THE SHICHIDA METHOD where the same claim is made. Taking this example, after I have taught a child the 50 pictures with the story : A DOG WENT ON A SHIP WEARING A HAT EATING A STRAWBERRY WITH A PAINTBRUSH … ETC
    the child is able to take a photographic image of the whole table of 50 pictures. Right ?

    3) Now if I re arrange the pictures , can the child take a photograph of the table and arrange the cards in the new sequence ?
    Thank you very much


    1. Hey Raymond,

      I’m afraid I only know as much as you do because I am quoting from the sme source. Although if I may speculate, I think that is the idea – for them to develop a photographic memory so they take a picture of all 50 images and are then able to list them as they see it. When they have the photographic memory function activated, then I don’t think it is necessary to create a story. The story is simply to facilitate the memory.

      Personally, I think it isn’t too hard to memory the same series of pictures in sequence if it is repeated enough times, therefore, I must conclude that they are referring to random linking memory where the storyline is changing all the time.


  7. Hi Shenli,

    If I recall correctly you ever posted a video clip on how fast a Shichida’s  student competing with adults while performing photographic memory, in that clip,  that student was given 25 pictures and not more than 25 to do, and  he managed to do all 25 within a short time……so I infer the best the student could do might not be more than 50, ie the best he could do was perhaps within 5×5 grid box, 🙂 knowing Japanese very well  where they love to challenge if they could do so  by impressing the jolly world by giving more than 25 pictures instead of lesser than 25 pics ( I stand to be correct me if I am wrong, of course there certainly has exceptions to kids who might manage to do more than 25 pics,  but I think that should be quite scarce.)


    1. FZ – Yes there was a video. I thought the reason for restricting to 25 was more for the adult without training. If it is too hard, it becomes impossible for the adult. It also included the section on the little boy who did wave reading and was able to recite correctly from the book – that was much more impressive to me.

      Regarding the 50 pics, I think what Shichida meant was that 50 pictures was the threshold the children had to hit in the linking memory activity before the photographic memory function was activated. You are right that linking memory is not the same as photographic memory because it uses the story to help you remember the pictures. But after you can do 50 pictures in a row, it seems the photographic memory function kicks in and they no longer need to use the linking memory method. They could remember the pictures on their own. That’s what I understood from the book.

      Shichida target is for the children to do 1000 linking memory pictures.


  8. Hi Raymond- for a right brain kid to do just 50 pics after few sittings of listening I think  is a mockery, in fact they could do more than that. My testimony is my daughter who could do 1000 linking pictures after a week to 2 weeks of listening to linking CDs, ie she could dictate in pictures and stories, with accuracy of 90%. I strongly believe when the child could recite fluently then that she would have formed up series of pictures in her mind instead of words and by pictures that makes her memory so easy even though she is asked to dictate only pictures. So suppose your Q2 is consequential upon Q1, then I think by pre-arranging the cards based only the story alone, I think it’s definitely easy for a child to re-arrange the cards to its usual sequence. But I can’t say for sure for random linking, that said it’s still the practice.

    But linking memory is different with photographic memory in true essence. Kindly advise if I am wrong.


  9. Oh, I don’t even know Shichida’s target is 1000 linking pictures, thanks for this valuable information.

    Agree totally for the second paragraph in particular when we ponder deeply why young child could recite just pictures so easily, I think she must have formed series of pictures in her mind already, in fact I should have pursued further to request her to memorize the numbers corresponding with pictures, if that so, again it would be more challenging. But back then I had some other more important tasks for her to do, that was to recite timetables……….So, it is always very greedy of us to ask our child to do more than required. 🙂


    1. FZ – I forget where I heard it from. I think it might be something they are working towards in class. May have been one of the mothers who mentioned it to me.

      I think it is clear your daughter has developed her photographic memory. I forget which book I read it in but it explains that the right brain remembers things pictorially in chunks. It’s the left brain that tries to link the new information with what is already existing which is probably what takes it so much longer to remember things. Whereas the right brain just takes photos like a camera and it is simply a matter of pulling up the photograph and looking at it again in your mind.


  10. Oh, It’s good to hear that if she has actually developed that ability :). One thing for sure that through out so many years, particularly last year when I started using lots of challenging flashcards which I discovered in your blog’s resources, I must say I have no problem of asking her to memo all the pictorial cards, it’s usually completed in a day or two no matter how complicated the cards were which sometimes too prompt me to think if she has developed certain ability.

    Plus, I do have one tip that I have done long time until today, which I think may have contributed substantially to her memory too that you may try if you have time, that’s to ask her to recognize world flags, perhaps more than 150 of them, then flash it and after a period of time, request her to say the name and more importantly the colors of the flags of any particular countries. I always think to have ability to remember colors is something very crucial before the child is able to do Mandala activity, because in this universe, nothing is made without colors. But it has to be done in voluminous. I don’t recommend to do 10 cards or so, but the entire say Asia Continent or Africa Continent.

    Thanks for your “sweet” encouragement, at least my time pays off. 🙂


    1. FZ, it is truly inspiring to hear the results you have been getting with your daughter (especially without attending any formal right brain education classes!) Thank you also for sharing your tips! I have taken them to heart and will be implementing them with my boys.


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