Tags: Alzheimer's/Dementia | memory palace | mental palace | brain

Don't Forget the Keys: 5 Tips to Build Your Own Memory Palace

By    |   Thursday, 26 March 2015 12:32 PM

Make a memory palace and dramatically improve your mental prowess. A memory technique from ancient Rome that was recently the plot-turning element in the hit PBS series "Sherlock," a mental palace is a visualization process that makes it easy to locate and recall details for names, faces, words, exam preparations or events.

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The palace is completely imaginary, so you can use creativity in associating objects with information you want to remember. A cow in the kitchen or a fish swimming in the kitchen sink might remind you of food items. The image of a person you met named Browning could be sitting in a brown chair in the living room to remember the name.

Sound far fetched? In fact, wilder images stay with you, whereas dull images could be harder to recall.

Here are five steps to build your own memory palace to retrieve the information you need:

1. A memory palace could be the image of your home, school, workplace or scenery from a location you visit often. It should be a place that holds a lot of details for memorization. That’s why many people choose their home or a home of the past to remember the rooms, hallways and furniture.

2. Visualize walking through the location in your mind. Set a pathway of travel through the palace. Include furnishings and other objects you can use to place information for stored memories. Use trees, landmarks, signs or stores when deciding on an outside location for your memory palace.

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3. Analyze all the features of the memory palace to imprint them in your mind. Make mental notes of pieces of furniture, pictures on the walls, various rooms and trees or roads. Use objects that catch your attention for memory slots that will be used to store information. Go through the location repeatedly, retaining images to store in your mind until you’re satisfied with knowing your palace.

4. Now you can begin associating location details with things you want to remember. Mentally walk through the memory palace as you did before, but connect items to objects at the location and let your imagination take over. A vivid picture of an event displayed in a framed picture on the living room wall could help recall details. Farm animals could represent food items. Labels placed on a refrigerator or other pieces of furniture could symbolize specific words.

5. Develop visual skills by revisiting the memory palace again and again. Enter through the front door or entrance and walk through the location before coming back again from the other side to associate the features with items to memorize. As you develop lasting impressions of the memory palace, you improve the technique to store more information.

There are many websites that are excellent guides to how to create a memory palace: check out Litemind.com, ehow.com, and Mostly Maths.

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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Make a memory palace and dramatically improve your mental prowess.
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Thursday, 26 March 2015 12:32 PM
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