Memory Training has a history

Let's get back to the Greeks, approximately two and a half thousand years ago. They even had a "goddess of memory" who knew everything from past, present and future. Her mythological name almost sounds like Memocamp, only with a Greek sound: Mnemosyne. She was the personification of the art of memory, also known as mnemonics. In our business world, the n is simply omitted after the M, and since then, the word "Memo" is indicated on memory sheets because for busy people "Memorandum" is too long.

Back to the Greeks, but now with an interesting story. Half a millennium before Christ, there was the lyric poet Simonides of Ceos. One day he held a speech at a banquet. Suddenly, he went outside because two men were asking for him. Shortly after having left the house, the building collapsed behind him, burying all guests. The two men were the mythical twins Castor and Pollux who wanted to save Simonides because he had praised them in his speech. Simonides was the only person who survived the tragedy. The bodies of the guests had been crushed beyond recognition and could not even been identified by their families. But Simonides was able to help. How? He could exactly remember the seat of each guest.

What does this story mean for the users of Memocamp? Simonides had used a basic principle of mnemonics, namely the principle of "localisation".

But it wasn’t just the ancient Greeks, the Romans were also very clever. Intellectuals like Cicero, Quintilian or Seneca used another principle of mnemonics to hold their epoch-making speeches without a script: the Method of loci. To do so, they walked a route in their vicinity and defined distinct locations (loci) on this route. They linked these locations mentally with keywords. During their speeches, the speakers followed this route mentally so that the locations and keywords reappeared.

But there are even more exciting developments. In the sixties of the twentieth century, the Californian Professor Roger Sperry found out that the left cerebral hemisphere is responsible for logical functions (order of places) and the right cerebral hemisphere for creativity (visual connections). Professor Sperry was awarded the Nobel Prize for this discovery. As a consequence, an improved method was used in modern memory training where images play a leading role: The "Journey Method" uses landmarks on a mental route (left-side logic of order) and connects them to creative images (right-side creativity). The memory performance will thus be increased because both cerebral hemispheres are used specifically.