Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Best Memory Improvement Techniques

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left parietal lobe(red) and corpus callosum, d...Image via WikipediaThose of us at Braintenance Central (make a quick left at the Parietal lobe, and follow the cues) believe that using a mnemonic or other "conscious device or technique" in order to improve some aspect of mind functioning is not against the rules -- in fact, if it helps, we like to encourage it. There are so many wonderful devices and techniques for improving various aspects of mental functioning that it makes one's head spin.

Again, we feature a listing of the most popular memory techniques, courtesy of BrainMetrix:

The Link Method: The Link Method is one of the easiest mnemonic techniques available, yet quite powerful. It is not quite as reliable as a peg technique, as images are not tied to specific, inviolable sequences. It functions quite simply by making associations between things in a list, often as a story. The flow of the story and the strength of the visualizations of the images provides clues to an easy retrieval of the stored piece of information.

The Number/Rhyme System: The Number/Rhyme technique is a very simple way of remembering lists of items in a specific order. It is an example of a peg system - i.e. a system whereby facts are 'pegged' to known sequences of cues (here the numbers 1 – 10). This ensures that no facts are forgotten (because gaps in information are immediately obvious), and that the starting images of the mnemonic visualizations are well known.
At a simple level it can be used to remember things such as a list of English Kings or of American Presidents in their precise order. At a more advanced level it can be used to code lists of experiments to be recalled in a science exam.

The Number/Shape System: The Number/Shape system is very similar to the Number/Rhyme system. As with the Number/Rhyme system it is a very simple and effective way of remembering lists of items in a specific order. It is another example of a peg system.

The Alphabet Technique: The Alphabet system is a peg memory technique similar to, but more sophisticated than, the Number/Rhyme system. At its most basic level (i.e. without the use of mnemonic multipliers) it is a good method for remembering long lists of items in a specific order in such a way that missing items can be detected. It is slightly more difficult to learn than the Number based techniques.

The Journey System: The journey method is a powerful, flexible and effective mnemonic based around the idea of remembering landmarks on a well-known journey. In many ways it combines the narrative flow of the Link Method and the structure and order of the Peg Systems into one highly effective mnemonic.
Because the journey method uses routes that you know well, you can code information to be remembered to a large number of easily visualized or remembered landmarks along the routes. Because you know what these landmarks look like, you need not work out visualizations for them!

The Roman Room Mnemonic: The Roman Room technique is an ancient and effective way of remembering unstructured information where the relationship of items of information to other items of information is not important. It functions by imagining a room (e.g. your sitting room or bedroom). Within that room are objects. The technique works by associating images with those objects. To recall information, simply take a tour around the room in your mind, visualizing the known objects and their associated images.

The Major System: The Major Memory System is one of the two most powerful memory systems currently available. It requires a significant investment of time to learn and master, however once it is learned it is extremely powerful. It is the application of mainly this system that forms the basis of some of the extraordinary, almost magical, memory feats performed by magicians and memory technicians.

Incidentally, the Major System, while requiring significant study and practice (both of which benefit many cognitive abilities simultaneously -- no waste here!) is undoubtedly the best. It is worthy of a dedicated article all its own, and we shall see about doing that. I would strongly advise that you invest some time (for an exceptional ROI) in Mastering The Major Memory Mnemonic Technique. I have personally witnessed some amazing feats performed by persons using it.

Douglas E Castle []

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