240 Memory Trick

Based on research done by Parker, Andrew, and Dagnall, Neill. (2007) written by Mara Rowcliffe, MS.

Have you ever had difficulty recalling something, even when it’s on the tip of your tongue?

Try moving your eyes from side to side for about thirty seconds. According to psychology research, this simple and easy strategy can quickly enhance your memory.  During the experiment, participants listened to 150 words organized into varying themes. Before recall, researchers instructed some participants to stare straight ahead, some to move their eyes up and down, and others from side to side.  Then, researchers played a new recording of test words which included some participants had previously heard and asked participants to distinguish which words were new and which were included on the first recording.

Researchers concluded that individuals who moved their eyes from side to side were then better able to identify which words they previously heard and which were new. The researchers speculate that side to side eye movements increase communication between the two sides of the brain, helping retrieve memories.

Perhaps eye witnesses would have fewer false identifications if asked to move their eyes side to side before judging a line up!

Next time you find yourself unable to remember something, give the side to side eyes a try!


Parker, A., & Dagnall, N. (2007). Effects of bilateral eye movements on gist based false recognition in the DRM paradigm. Brain and Cognition, 63(3), 221-225.

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