Tags: Alzheimer's/Dementia | memory | tricks | mind palace

What Is the Mind Palace? How Does It Help Memory?

By    |   Thursday, 26 March 2015 11:43 AM

Extraordinary feats of memory are possible by creating your own mind palace, using  these enjoyable visualization techniques. People with remarkable memories have been able to use the method to recall lists, numbers, faces and other pieces of information.

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The memory palace utilizes visualization to create instant and vivid recall. The visual technique includes focusing on places such as your home, school or workplace. You could also choose locations you know well, such as a park or a route you take everyday. Once you set the scene of this familiar place, you can then use it to place important pieces of information. Blogger Luciano Passuello offers detailed instructions on how to set up your mind palace at Litemind.com.

The idea for the memory palace dates back to the 5th century when Greek poet Simonides of Ceos stepped outside of a building where a banquet was held. The story, recounted in the Smithsonian online magazine, relates that the building collapsed, killing everyone inside, and the badly damaged bodies needed to be identified. Simonides was able to identify the remains by remembering where people had been sitting, according to the legend. It became known as the method of loci, Latin for places, using visualization to organize and retrieve information.

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People can even create imaginary locations for their mind palace. Reasearcher Eric Legge at the University of Alberta in Canada found that people who created a memory palace from a virtual building on a computer screen performed just as well in word memorization as those who used a mind palace with buildings they knew.

To understand the memory technique, use the example of a house as the mind palace for a shopping list. The items you want to buy can be placed in each room. Since this is your own memory palace, you can let your imagination go wild to associate items with images. The more imaginative, the clearer the impression, according to Mostly Maths.

As you walk through the house in your mind, the images you memorized represent other items. Perhaps cartoon character Bugs Bunny stands in the hallway munching on carrots. A cow chews on grass in the backyard to represent beef products. A big, orange sun outside reminds you to buy oranges or orange juice.

The technique takes practice. Beginners often go through their first memory palace a few times before mastering it. In time, the lists become longer as they learn to organize the mental imagery with information.

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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Extraordinary feats of memory are possible by creating your own mind palace, using these enjoyable visualization techniques.
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Thursday, 26 March 2015 11:43 AM
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