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The Ancient Method That Could Boost Memory Ten-Fold

The secret behind one of the most effective memorization techniques was discovered by Simonides of Ceos in 477 B.C. This simple technique can allow you to remember anywhere between 10-100x more information. This technique has also been shown to rewire your brain and can also be learned within minutes.

Let’s take a look at this technique known as The Memory Palace. Continue reading to learn how this technique can reshape what you know regarding memory.

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How Anyone Can Transform their Brain?

The Memory Palace (or the “method of loci”) is the most effective tool you can use to improve your memory. Studies have shown that using this technique has the capacity to reshape the neural networks of the brain to enhance memory.

Furthermore, using the technique has been shown to have permanent effects on the brain’s structure. It has been successfully used by memory champions throughout time.

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How (and Why) The Memory Palace Actually Works

The study of memory is one that is still relatively new and developing. However, we do know that from the existence of the first human, our brains, along with our bodies, have evolved for millions of years for the sole reason of increasing our survivability. This is why senses such as sight, taste, and smell are more memorable to us.

So how do brains serve to remember locations? Most of us can remember our childhood homes or any places where we spent a significant amount of time living. Though we may not be aware of it, our brains are constantly evaluating and storing our surroundings in memory.

The logic behind this goes back to our evolutionary needs for survival. Millions of years ago it would be imperative to remember where your home was—your very life could depend on it. Moreover, your survival would depend on your ability to recall certain areas, such as the location of a specific river as a water source. To do so, the human brain produces a unique neurochemical mix anytime we think about a certain location. Moreover, this connection is so strong that researchers have come to conclude that location is an essential part of our memory system.

This is exciting news, for it implies you (probably) have hundreds of memory places lying dormant ready to be filled with information.

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How to Create Your Very Own Memory Palace, in 3 Easy Steps

The first step to creating your Memory Palace is choosing a familiar location, such as a home, an office, or even a frequently visited store. It is recommended that you choose a location specific to the quantity of information you desire to store.

The next step is to pick a specific “path” that you intend to take as you walk through it. For example, one effective technique can be to choose the entrance and walk along the “perimeter” of the building while tracing along the walls either clockwise or counterclockwise.

It is important to never cross your own path as you go from room to room. This is going to be specifically essential for things such as speeches, decks of cards, or any information that calls for sequential memorization.

For non-sequential information, your job is going to be to determine how to group the information and decide which room will correspond to which group. This can be done either in your head or by physically sketching out a floor plan.

Photo: Shutterstock/Pathdoc

Once the memory palace is constructed, you must now use visualization to create mental images for the information you wish to remember. These visual images, known as “markers,” are most effective when existing memories are combined with elements in a way that make them particularly strange—even violent or sexual.

Coming up with different markers can be tricky, but there are different techniques that you can use for different types of information. For example, it can be more beneficial to get creative with names, speeches, and bible verses. On the other hand, for memorizing a string of numbers, you would use a system like The Major Method. Keep in mind that markers are individually unique, and the best ones often integrate your own pre-existing memories.

Once your memory palace is filled with visualizations, just remember to drop by every so often for a visit to make sure you don’t forget it.

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Now it’s your turn to try it. Simply learning about a Memory Palace will do you no good unless you put it to practice. Here are some recommended “beginner” memory palaces you can try out:

• The NATO Phonetic Alphabet
• The Circle of Fifths (Music Theory)
• Your Grocery List
• The names, faces, and locations of everyone at your company or division
• The first 25 digits of Pi
• Your credit card numbers

Memorization can be difficult. With this technique, the process of memorization will not only come easier, but it will also be more fun. So don’t wait until tomorrow or tonight, try it out right now.

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