US memory champion reveals his techniques for rememberingMarch 24th, 2011 - 5:02 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Mar 24 (ANI): US memory champion Joshua Foer has revealed the technique he used to unravel the secrets of the brain.
Six years ago, science writer Foer was just like any other human being, but twelve months later, he became the U.S. memory champion.
“Not only did I win, I actually set a new U.S. record by memorizing a deck of playing cards in a minute and 40 seconds,” ABC News quoted Foer as saying.
Foer, who recently wrote a book on his experiences titled ‘Moonwalking With Einstein’, trained himself to become a memory athlete, someone who regularly tries to memorize lists of hundreds of numbers and words.
It might sound like an incredible feat, but such people’s brains aren’t any different than a normal person’s. They just tap into different parts of the mind to turn mundane lists into vivid, lasting memories.
Employing techniques that date back to the Greeks, memory champions like Foer create “memory palaces” that rely on the human brain’s natural advantage with spatial and visual memory.
They think up images to represent everything they want to remember — the more outlandish or shocking the better.
“If you’re trying to remember a microwave, for example, maybe it’s frying a cat or something. Something you’re really not going to want … but it’ll be colourful,” Foer said.
Once envisioned, these images are stored inside the rooms of the palace, an imaginary building in the brain that can be anything from a childhood home to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“We’re visual creatures. Probably, when we were hunter-gatherers … that was the kind of thing that mattered,” he said.
“And remembering, say, phone numbers was, like, not that important when you’re hunting down a mastodon or whatever,” he explained.
Foer found cutting-edge neuroscience proving the notion that the people who are best at memorizing really do use their brains differently.
“There is nothing special, nothing biologically special about anyone who’s a memory champion. They’re simply using a different strategy,” Narender Ramnani, a professor with Royal Holloway, University of London, who has researched memory and the brain, stated. (ANI)
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Tags: abc news, athlete, brains, childhood home, deck of playing cards, greeks, human brain, hunter gatherers, joshua foer, lasting memories, mastodon, memory palaces, metropolitan museum of art, museum of art, natural advantage, numbers and words, science writer, twelve months, visual creatures, visual memory