Our brain receives, processes and stores enormous amount of information every day. But this happens mostly unconsciously, and we are not aware of how much information is inside our brains.
Some people are born with a natural gift for exceptional memory. When psychologists tried to measure their brain’s memory capacity, it was found that this capacity is limitless. However, most people don’t think they have good memory. We struggle remembering what we had for lunch 2 days ago, details of a book we read recently, or what we had studied at schools years ago. Doesn’t this contradict the idea of “unlimited memory”? Not really. The information gets stored in the brain, but our ability to recall it depends on how much conscious effort was spent remembering it. Luckily, there are memory techniques which can improve our memory performance, and anybody can learn them. Some simple techniques and key concepts can be learned in only 5 or 10 minutes. More advanced techniques require time and practice, like any other skill. These techniques are called mnemonics (from ancient Greek “mnēmonikos” meaning “relating to memory”), and some have been known for more than 2000 years. It is a real mystery why they are not taught in every primary school.
Mnemonics are based on creation of strong associations between concepts using mental imagery, visual and auditory cues, and creative story making. In this workshop we will learn about the peg system, the link system, the major system, the journey method, and when to use which, separately or in combinations. Apart from specific techniques, we will discuss about brain physiology, why strong associations create strong memories, and what this means for sustained focused mental effort. Finally, we will also discuss about effective learning strategies, importance of breaks and sleep, as well as about tools and resources on where to get more information on this topic.