Mansions of the Mind: The Key to Memory

Ever wonder what techniques “memory champions” use to remember dozens or hundreds of facts and figures, dates and historical events, names and faces and places? Would you like to have this ability next time you are at an important dinner party or company lunch and need to place names with faces? Would you like to have the mind power that enables you to save paper and trees by perfectly recalling your shopping list? It’s possible, and you don’t have to be a genius or a savant to learn how to remember things.

There is an ancient trick to memory called the method of loci whereby one remembers things by associating them with the part of the brain that uses spatial memory. You might try this with a familiar room. You have a list of things you need for work, and a route from your bedroom to your bathroom. On the bed, you mentally place a giant briefcase. On the dresser you have a ream of shredded paper. In the hallway, a huge ringing cellphone, on the toilet a stack of client information, etc. As you mentally trace the route, you can more easily recall the list. It works more elaborately with associating numbers and letters as well by combining images, and is a very effective method of mind power, a path of total recall. A numbered way of accessing information, such as saying, “in the first place” (the bed), and “in the second place” (the dresser), etc., is a remnant of this method of memory work.

Potentially, you could devise a memory mansion of the mind, a multi-roomed artifice filled with tons of associate information, all easily retrievable. The more dramatic the image is that is associated with each familiar spatial place, the more easily it is retrieved. The method of loci is a proven way to use your mind power and master your memory.

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