The Memory Palace Technique and How Anyone Can Use It

In this TED Talk, Joshua Foer, a journalist who “accidentally” won the U.S. Memory Championship, talks about some of the most popular short-term memorization techniques used by “memory athletes”. He followed the tournament trail and interviewed some of the top memory competitors over the course of a year. Most of the techniques he describes are a form of associative memory, whereby you mentally create a “story” and visualize certain elements that will represent the main points or themes of a presentation. Throughout the video though, Joshua constructs the argument that it isn’t these memory shortcuts directly that give people a greater memory capacity, but the practice of actively creating these mental models and visualizations on a regular basis strengthens the parts of the brain responsible for memory development and recollection. The shortcuts do work, but making a habit of repeating them is what will give you the most long-term benefits.It’s a bit of a long video at 20 minutes, but I highly recommend watching it.

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