Discovery Science TECH

The quirky method helps you remember longer

By applying the right technique, you will be able to memorize a lot more.

Nelson Dellis has four times the USA Memory Champion and Grandmaster of Memory Championship. Some of his outstanding achievements are being able to memorize 10 thousand digits after the decimal point Pi. He can also memorize the order of each card in 9 randomly shuffled decks and a list of hundreds of names after hearing them once.

However, Dellis says with a little bit of pain, everyone can improve their memory abilities. Here are 5 steps to help you remember most of the information you need.

Start with impressive images

We’ll start with a fairly simple task: memorizing the 7 wonders of the world. In order to remember them, Dellis recommends converting each place into simple, memorable images.

Some landmarks will have clearer images. For example, the Great Wall of China, you can remember it is a wall. With Petra, you can attach it to the picture of a pet.

“Using shortened images like the one above is extremely effective. What you want to do is create large memories using multiple senses,” explains Julia Shaw. She is a psychologist at University College London and author of The Memory Illusion: Remembering, Forgetting, and the Science of False Memory.

You want to target images in your mind that can feel, smell or see, to make it as real as possible.

The scientific explanation behind this step is because “the more bizarre or crude an image is, the easier it is to remember emotions,” Shaw said.

“When they looked at the brain, scientists showed that the amygdala – the part of the brain responsible for generating emotions – stimulates other parts of the brain to record memories.” That is why we often remember events with strong emotions for longer.

Place those images in specific places

The next step is to bring the images above into the context you are already familiar with. For Dellis’ example, he would place each of his wonders in positions of his home, starting with the wall at the entrance, followed by an image of God lying on the indoor sofa, representing the statue. Christ.

“The more odd the picture, the better,” Dellis said. In the kitchen, you can imagine a llamas preparing dinner.

The technique of attaching the image to a specific location is called a “memory palace” and is especially useful for remembering the order of certain ingredients, Shaw explains. “A memory palace is based on an existing memory of a place that is real in your memory. It is a place you already know, usually home or a place that you know well,” says this family added.

If you have to remember a list of 7 items, the space you need will be relatively small. But if it were 10 thousand decimal places of pi, Dellis would need to extend his memory palace to the entire city he lived in, Miami. Dellis divides 10 thousand digits into 20 thousand 5-digit sets and assigns them to 10 different nearby locations.

“Neurological imaging studies show that the human brain enhances activity in the occipital region when remembering by the memory palace method,” Shaw said. “That means that the technique uses more parts that are normally intended for other senses in the brain, like the parietal lobe for navigation and the occipital for vision.”

Focus on memorization

Memorizing the 7 quirky pictures of world wonders isn’t that hard, but when it comes to memorizing 10 thousand decimal places of the Pi, you may need a bigger boost.

“I will tell myself the mantra:” I want to remember everything, I want to remember everything, “Dellis said. “This is a simple mantra but it will adjust my attention and focus on the work I am doing, helping me remember better.”

Break down information

With a huge number of numbers or a series of cards, the split method can come in handy. “With words it’s pretty easy: you look at a word and it will associate itself with some of the pre-existing images in your mind. But with things like numbers or cards, or even names, it will be difficult. a little more, “Dellis said.

Among them are several systems that we have developed and memorized so that when we read a name or a card we already have an image for them in mind.

For Dellis, the first 5-digit set after the decimal point of the Pi is transformed into an image of Sam Neill wearing the Iron Man suit. “It is like that,” said Dellis. The second set is transformed into a picture of his friend dressed as the emperor in Gladiator with his thumb pointing to the ground.

Finish by reviewing the information set

Once you have the images and put them in the memory palace, you just need to make sure they are written to your head. “Most memories are not saved to our long-term memory,” Shaw said. That is why it is important to recall information to remember, it has the effect of converting short-term memory into long-term memory.

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