The Art of Memory

You already know how your brain is structured and that there is an ultra short-term memory, a short-term memory and a long-term memory. The question is to know how the knowledge can best enter our knowledge store. You also know that our brain is divided into two hemispheres, the left hemisphere which is responsible for language and logic and the right hemisphere which is responsible for images and creativity. The logical side of the brain is located in the left hemisphere. Given that it is easier to memorise images (right hemisphere) than facts, we must transform the information into images by using the art of creativity. Throught this association, the left and the right cerebral hemisphere are connected. As a result, we do not only double but multiply our brain performance.

There are three main pillars responsible for effective memorisation: The imagination through which we transform the information into images, also called transformation to make sure that we can better keep the information in our mind. The association through which we connect existing information with new information. The localisation, which means associating information with journey points.

The art of imagination

Aristoteles (384 - 332 v. Chr.) gehört zu den bekanntesten und einflussreichsten Philosophen der Geschichte. Er war der Erste der unsere Vorstellungskraft mit dem Gedächtnis unmittelbar verband. Er war der Meinung, dass Fantasie und Gedächtnis Hand in Hand gehen. Es ist sehr wichtig, die Vorstellung und Fantasie als einen Schlüsselfaktor für die Funktion des Erinnerns zu betrachten. Du wirst deine Fantasie in Bereiche ausdehnen, die dem rationalen, logischen Teil des Gehirns sehr merkwürdig erscheinen. Für das Merken bedeutet das, dass du "langweilige" Informationen mithilfe deiner Vorstellungskraft und viel Fantasie so spannend und merkwürdig machst, dass es sich gerne daran erinnert.

The art of association

Association means that two or more originally isolated contents are recalled or linked together. We are constantly associating. If we consider the image of a rose, the memory recalls its smell. If you should tell then about the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking about a chair, your brain creates so-called associative chains. It could be that you think of a table or a fish. So it's not always about the meaning, but sometimes also about the sound. Many associations arise spontaneously and quite naturally. Your brain is creating these small thoughts absolutely independently. It is difficult to deliberately influence abitrary associative chains. A successful memorisation procedure requires both natural associations and the invention of new unnatural associations. The first moon landing took place in 1969, the biblical age of Methuselah amounts to 969 years according to the Bible. If he had waited 1000 years, he could have flown to the moon. This is of course completely absurd, but your brain has associated 969 with the moon landing and the age of Methuselah.

The art of localisation

The ancient Greeks and Romans were the first to recognize the principle of localisation and used its fundament for their memorisation techniques. This technique which is now known as journey-method is also a very important pillar helping to memorise large amounts of information. Without routes you will not be able to memorise information successfully. We are not only associating things unconsciously but we are also localising things constantly. If you are looking for your keys you mentally go back to the point where you've used your keys the last time and try to understand the journey of the key. This works quite well in general. The use of the principle of localisation for memory techniques is efficient because the points where the items are stored are defined in advance. The brain needs no longer to pay attention to the order of the points because they have been defined in advance. Journeys will help you to achieve a very high level of memory performance.

The art of ingredients

You should always put lots of emotions and fantasy in your stories. Emotion is memory's glue. You should alway try to create exciting and strange stories. If you also include sounds and smells as ingredients into your stories, the histories will mostly become clearer. It is also helpful to have a logical explanation to understand why things are happening. Your brain cannot really distinguish between real and pseudo logic. The most important thing is of course the practice. Try to put two or three things that have nothing to do with each other in a creative story. That will perhaps be a bit difficult at the beginning but the more you try the easier it will be. Your stories will continuously improve.