They show that Sherlock Holmes’ rule of thumb for memorizing anything works
It is more than 2,500 years old and was already used by the Greeks, Romans and medieval monks. But the Sherlock series made it fashionable again. And for good reason: it works!
Is called Loci method, but it is popularly known as the Mental Palace or Memory Palace technique. Is a mnemonic rule for memorizing things that Sherlock Holmes uses in the British series Sherlock, but that we have also seen in other series such as The Mentalist, and even with Hannibal Lecter himself in The silence of the lambs.
The Loci method, what does it mean “of the places“, popularized it Cicero, who used it to memorize his speeches before the Roman Senate. But he learned it from the Greeks, which was already a common method in 500 BC. Medieval monks used it to memorize the Bible, and it is a common method used by the champions of memorization contests.
This mnemonic rule for memorizing things I included it in this report that I wrote a long time ago, but it contains very useful tricks to memorize concepts, formulas, and even numbers with more than 10 figures:
The Loci method worksThe proof is that it has been used by geniuses and sages of the last 2,500 years. But now, as our colleague Andrea Núñez-Torrón tells us in TICbeat, a group of scientists led by Professor Isabella Wagner, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Vienna, They have shown through experiments with patients that the method works.
The Loci method or of Memory palace, The Mental Palace, consists in imagine a favorite place that is very familiar to us: our house when we were children, the park where we walk, the room where we play video games or practice a hobby, etc.
We mentally go through that place and in a specific place very recognizable by us, we associate something that we want to remember with a specific object. For example, let’s imagine we want to memorize the shopping list. We can imagine our house and in the kitchen fridge we memorize in the milk, in the hallway the detergent, in our favorite chair the cat’s food, and on the TV remote, the kilo of pears that we want to buy.
Then we mentally go through the house and when we get to each of these objects we will remember the items on the shopping list.
It is a method that works very well in the short term, but you can even remember things months and years later. Of course, it is necessary to review the route several times, and practice so that the brain gets used to this way of remembering.
This group of neuroinvestigators led by Professor Isabella Wagner trained for weeks a group of 50 people, including memorization champions, with the Loci Method, with other memory methods, and without any method, monitoring their brain activity.
Then They were asked to recall the words learned at 20 minutes (short-term memory), at 24 hours, and after 4 months.
After 20 minutes, the people who were trained with the Loci Method remembered an average of 62 words from the list, while those who were trained with the other method remembered 41 and those who were not trained at all remembered 36. On passing In 24 hours, people who were trained with the Loci Method remembered around 56 words, compared to 30 and 21 in the control groups, respectively.
Four months later, people who were trained with the Loci Method were able to remember about 50 words, compared to 30 and 27 in the control groups, respectively.
A surprising discovery of brain activity monitoring is that athose who used the Loci Method developed less brain activity, despite memorizing more words.
That shows that the Palace of Memory technique Not only is it effective, it makes the brain work more efficiently.