Palace of memory
Also called: method of loci.
palace of memory is a mnemonic technique that allows one to store large ammounts of raw information by associating it to visual or auditive input already stored in memory.
The steps to create a memory palace are:
- Imagine a familiar place or route
- Chunck it into memorable steps (ex: visual landmarks) that serve like anchors.
- Translate your target remembrance object into a visual cue.
- Link the visual cue to the landmark.
During recall, recall landmarks.
According to the literature I’ve read (1), it seems memory palaces are efficient in increasing the number of items one can store and retrieve in memory, as studied in research.
- Recall can fail if the associated space or route is not strong enought.
- Lack of practical uses when information can be externally stored and easily accessed. Ironically, the best setting where this works is in educational systems that reward raw memory.
- It might work better with eposidic memory than other types of memory.
How does it work
- It coopts visuospatial memory and mental maps, or navigational cognition.
- In a certain sense, memory palaces work through some of the same principles that work for habit building, specifically habit glueing - or memory linking, if you prefer.
- Memory palaces also make use of chunking, by subdividing memorized objects into smaller units.
- It could produce a concretization of abstract ideas, via visualization - abstract ideas are harder to ingest and codify than concrete ideas, in principle.