Tactile memory: characteristics and features of development

Sometimes, to cheer yourself up, it is enough to stroke your beloved cat, hold your hands by the fireplace, or, conversely, cheer up by dipping your fingers in cold water. Tactile memory gives us such an opportunity. Do not underestimate it, since this type of memory appears one of the first and persists throughout life.

What it is?

Tactile memory or body memory remains with a person after he physically comes into contact with anything. It is also called tactile memory. It is well developed in everyone, because we get the first tactile memories in infancy. — the warmth of mother’s hands gives a feeling of security, the first contact with a sharp needle activates the instinct of self-preservation, and the brain remembers that a sharp one is a potential danger.

And if most of us do not even think about how it works, since tactile memory works «in the background», then there are people for whom this type of memory is vital. First of all, we are talking about the blind or visually impaired. For them, tactile memory is an alternative to vision.

This memory is of great importance. For example, it is very helpful for those who quickly type on the keyboard. Over time, they develop a brilliant tactile memory that allows them to perform these actions almost blindly. When driving a car, tactile memory often helps us, especially in unforeseen traffic situations. For athletes, this ability is a significant contribution to future Olympic victories.

But most importantly, it is, perhaps, in childhood. It is the kids who are drawn to everything they see, and in this way they receive their first knowledge and ideas about the world.

If their tactile memory is well developed, then once they touch a hot kettle, they no longer touch it. And having stumbled upon a sharp corner, the next time they try to get around it. Psychology textbooks say that children with a good tactile memory learn better, they have a richer imagination and developed speech.

How it works?

As far back as the 2nd century BC, the wise Chinese realized that the activity of the hands and fingers affects the functioning of the brain, moreover, it allows you to achieve a psychological balance between the mind and the physical shell. The Japanese found convincing evidence of this. It was in the Land of the Rising Sun that they discovered that there are many active points on the palmselectrical impulses from which are quickly transmitted directly to the central nervous system.

Modern physiologists assure that the activity and sensitivity of the hands is directly related to how the central nervous system develops. For example, the famous psychiatrist Vladimir Mikhailovich Bekhterev noted in his writings that simple hand exercises help relieve mental fatigue and stress. As for children, according to the scientist, fine motor skills help to improve the pronunciation of many sounds and develop the speech apparatus. Another prominent scientist, the famous teacher Vasily Alexandrovich Sukhomlinsky, wrote that «the mind of a child begins with the fingers.»

So how does this kind of memory work? The information that a person, including a very small one, receives tactilely, instantly enters the cortical region of the brain and begins to interact with its other parts. Especially with the visual center, as well as the area that is responsible for muscle sensitivity. As a result, we get this type of memorization and can distinguish objects by touch.


Analyzing all of the above, it can be argued that an adult needs to develop tactile memory only in case of an emergency life situation, for example, in the event of a sudden loss of vision. But for a child to do this is vital, and regularly.

Yes, and it develops in babies much better than in adults. In this regard, experts strongly recommend engaging with them in the development of tactile memory. You need to do this at least once a day. For this, special exercises are suitable.

Ways of development

There are many ways to develop tactile memory in a child. Let’s look at just a few examples.

Image transfer

This technique is suitable for children who already have drawing skills. It can be used in both group and individual sessions. Invite the child to touch this or that object with his eyes closed, and then draw what he “remembered” with his own hands.


Such a game requires preliminary preparation of props, although if you wish, you can buy it in a store, since now there are plenty of outlets with educational toys. Various materials are glued onto small pieces of cardboard or boards: fabric, wool, plastic, and so on. The task of the child is to identify the material with their eyes closed. Another kind of identification exercises — the child must guess what the object is filled with. Offer him a choice of a ball, a plush toy, a wooden cube.

First of all, of course, explain why one object feels tight and the other soft.

Reproduction of sensations

For this game, you need to bring several kids together. You can play it both in kindergarten and organize a training game as an entertainment during children’s parties. Participants are given cards on which the name of the subject and its description are written. For example, wooden chair, iron fence, hot iron and so on. The task of the child is to describe the object that came across to him, without naming it directly, so that other children can guess it from the story.

There are other exercises, games and contests, you can come up with them yourself. The main thing is to interest the child, and thus develop not only tactile memory, but also the ability to think.

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