How to Improve Semantic Memory

Wondering how to improve semantic memory? Who isn’t? Since semantic memory is what much of our overall intelligence is based in – as it’s our memory for facts – people are always looking to improve this type of memory. Although one study in 2007 showed that electroconvulsive therapy was a good way to improve semantic memory in older patients with severe depression, you probably don’t want to go to those lengths to improve your semantic memory. Instead, if you’re wondering how to improve semantic memory, take these steps, and you’ll be able to learn more quickly and recall factual information more easily:

Keep Your Brain Healthy

One of the best ways of how to improve semantic memory is also one of the easiest. You just need to keep your brain healthy. This is really not all that difficult. Brain health is largely dependent on the food you put into your body. If you’re looking for how to improve semantic memory, one excellent option is just to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Be sure that your diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are full of antioxidants that can protect the brain from oxidative damage that will eventually harm the memory. You also need to get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, which keep brain tissue healthy. It’s also important to exercise regularly if you want to keep your brain healthy, since regular exercise is linked to better oxygen circulation in the brain as well as better memory retention.


Learning to pay attention to everyday life is one of the keys to learning how to improve semantic memory. This type of memory is gleaned from your experiences in everyday life. For instance, if you see a hundred dogs, your brain starts to conglomerate them into one concept for the word “dog.” Paying attention to the dogs you see will make your memory of what the word “dog” means sharper and clearer.

Of course, you want to learn how to improve semantic memory in order to do more than just remember what the word “dog” means, but this is just an example. As with most types of memory, your semantic memory will improve just as you pay attention to life around you. Your brain needs to focus on things in order for you to have clear memories of them, so learning just to live in the present moment and pay attention can be a valuable way to boost your semantic memory.

Do Memory Improvement Exercises

While your semantic memory is different from other parts of your memory, they’re still all connected. Many memory improvement exercises, such as games that force you to remember lists, will also help you in your quest of how to improve semantic memory. Also, exercises that force you to use your semantic memory – such as crosswords, where you have to identify words based on their meanings or associations – will help you increase your semantic memory over time.

Your brain is like other muscles in your body and follows a “use it or lose it” paradigm. If you exercise your brain and use it on a regular basis, your semantic memory will eventually improve, as well. Even though there aren’t a lot of specific ways of how to improve semantic memory, exercising your brain in general will improve all parts of your memory, including your semantic memory, which helps you recall words, facts, and pieces of information that are helpful to you in everyday life.