After watching champion memorizers perform their feats, we ordinary mortals can’t but wonder. How they do they do it. Is it talent or practice? A combination of both perhaps? According to a recent study, by creating something known as ‘mind palace’, you too can have a super memory.
In a previous post, we talked about the study conducted by scientists from Radboud University, Holland, which showed that memory can actually be improved significantly. Using an ancient Greek memory training technique, the researchers found that people with “ordinary” memory skills could double capacity in as few as 40 days.
What Is Mind Palace And Is It Real?
If you’ve read or watched Sherlock Holmes you might be familiar with ‘mind palace’ that helped him store tons of information and use it to crack cases. Science now shows that Sherlock’s creator, Conan Doyle, might have been on to something.
By the way, Conan Doyle once became a real-life Sherlock Holmes. He helped exonerate George Edalji, then 27 years old. The young black man had been wrongfully sentenced to serve seven years with hard labor for mutilating horses and sending threatening letters to the police.
Also known as method of loci, memory journey, and memory palace, mind palace is a memory enhancement technique that uses visualizations with the use of spatial memory, familiar information about one’s environment, to quickly and efficiently recall information.
As it turns out, Sherlock’s mind palace, memory palace, or method or loci is not fictional. It is a real thing that has been around for centuries, and recently validated by science.
Greeks and Romans, such as the orator Cicero, employed the mind palace technique to memorize speeches, marking the order of what to say within a complicated architectural space. (Source: Smithsonian.com)
Today, the technique is used by “mental athletes” to compete in memory championships worldwide. The method takes some practice to learn and use effectively though. The techniques themselves are beyond the scope of this post.