Do you marvel at Derren Brown? Do you aspire to be Sherlock and live in a Mind Palace of infinite recall? Or can you just never find your glasses?
A recent study analysed the brains of 23 memory champions to try to unlock the secret of their impressive powers of recall. As it turns out, their superior ability to remember hundreds of facts and figures is not due to enhanced cognitive power or kryptonite-powered anatomy, but rather learnt through specific strategies. To prove it, the researchers worked with people who had average memory-recall abilities, giving them a set of tasks to improve their skills. After six weeks of training, their brains began to work in a similar way to that of the memory champions, with the results lasting for a further four months.
Consequently, the researchers conclude that superior memory skills are associated with intra-neuron connectivity, rather than genetic ability. Once you establish a specific set of techniques, you can apply them a range of situations, boosting your memory skills on a day-to-day basis.
Whether you aspire to reel off each stop on the local train, or spout the names of every ruler of England and their spouses, or just want to remember where you left your wallet and not spend precious minutes every day searching for it, there are plenty of well known (and, surprisingly simple) techniques that can help boost your memory power.
You may not make it to the World Memory Championships (yes, that’s a real thing), but you might just be able to remember your phone charger once in a while. Read more