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THE SECRET PRINCIPLES UNDERLYING A SUPER POWER MEMORY
In Tony Buzan's book Use Your Memory (to be reviewed later this year) he writes that the Greeks understood that there were two underlying principles for perfect memory. You must ASSOCIATE (link) whatever it is you wish to remember with a fixed location in your mind (later articles will cover how you can do this) using your IMAGINATION throughout.
We now know that the upper part of the brain is divided in half (see this month's amazing brain fact) and that each half specialises in different mental traits. In order to enhance your ability to remember and bring together the features of both sides of the brain, you should include the following when you ASSOCIATE and use your IMAGINATION to produce mnemonic imagery:
Most of the great natural memorisers blended their senses and introduced the following elements when they memorised:
3. Sense of smell
6. Kinaesthesia (awareness of bodily position).
So the more that you involve your senses, the greater your ability to recall the information that you have learned.
Ask yourself which of the two situations are you likely to remember the most? First of all consider an oak tree in a forest of oak trees. Now consider the same oak tree swaying violently while the trees around it are seemingly unaffected by whatever is causing the movement. The motion gives the mind more possibilities for it to 'link in' and thus remember.
Association is one of the keys to a good memory. If you leave your coat in a cloakroom at a theatre, you will be given a ticket. When you return you expect to exchange the ticket that you were given for your coat. That is because the ticket you had was associated with the peg that held your coat. The same works with your memory. You will have a series of pegs in your mind (to be covered next month) which you associate with what you want to remember and when you recall, you go to that peg and the association will prompt the information stored.
Have fun with your memory and make all of your images funny, absurd and ridiculous. If you watch pedestrians walking past a lamp post in a crowded street nothing really stands out until someone does not watch where they are going and……….
Einstein (see the section on The Great Minds) said "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Your imagination is vital to a good memory and the more you use it the better your memory will be.
6. Number As Tony Buzan says, "Numbering adds specificity and efficiency to the principle of order and sequence".
A picture speaks a thousand words and so a more meaningful image that represents something boring or abstract will aid the memory process.
If we introduce the facilities of both sides of the brain into our memory techniques our overall performance improves - Colour is a feature of the workings of the right side of the brain. Also the more colourful the image, the easier it is to remember.
9. Order and/or sequence
By adding order and/or sequence it is easier for the brain to randomly access any piece of the information learned.
10. Positive Images
The more positive and pleasant your mnemonic images are, the more likely your brain will want to return to them.
Exaggeration of size, shape and sound will enhance the image. If you saw a 10 foot high mouse wandering around your home town, I am sure that you would remember it!
So if you apply all of the elements above to your mnemonic imagery, then your are on your way to developing a good memory. All that you need now is a mnemonic technique to apply these principles to. I will cover such a technique next month.
To ask about any aspect of Accelerated Learning, you can contact Michael Tipper direct via the link at the top of this page.
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Silver Medallist in the World Memory Championships.
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4th March 1998: