Allsop Memory

How to Improve your Memory using the Famous Loci Method

Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:”"; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”;} This technique won’t help youremember names and faces at a cocktail party, but it’s great for recallinglists (and reciting them backwards just as easily), so it could well becomeyour party trick!   The Loci Method is a great way tomemorize a list of up to twenty or thirty items. You can apply similarprinciples to any number of things that you might want to remember, and as youuse it more and more you’ll get faster and faster.   Let’s say you need toremember a list of groceries, which might include: baked beans, butter, ham,milk, wooden spoon, frozen peas, ice cream, pizza, apple, banana…     The trick (and it’s no secret– it’s been around for centuries) is to think of a route through a buildingthat you know really well – such as your own house – or a journey that is veryfamiliar to you. Then you link each room, feature or place to a bizarre visualimage – the more absurd, the better, as you’ll remember it more easily. As Idon’t know my way around your house or your familiar journey, you’ll have tobear with me and follow my example: the way I would walk if I were going intoour village.   First I need to cross theroad. To remember the baked beans, I am going to visualize a crazy, unstablefootbridge constructed entirely of leaking cans of baked beans.   As I get down off the bridge(to remember the butter) I imagine slipping in a great big slimy butter patchand having to stagger to my feet.   Then my route takes me pastmy neighbour Frank’s front door, and I imagine I have to clamber over animmense pig which is emerging from the doorway. That’s the ham.   Tethered to the iron gate(the next landmark), I visualize a quaint cow wearing a bonnet. The cow isbeing milked by an eighteenth century milk maid who is singing a quainteighteenth century milking song.   Just after the gate there aresome brick steps that lead to Susan’s house. I imagine Susan and her family,half way up the steps, struggling to mix a huge Christmas pudding mix using aten foot wooden spoon.   Jim’s house has a big porcharound its front door, and I visualize a giant green pea wedged in the porch sothat Jim can’t get out.   Then there’s a place wherethere’s no pavement (sidewalk) and Jim’s car is usually parked so close to thewall that it can be difficult to squeeze through. This time an ice cream van isparked there instead of the car. I have to climb through its serving hatch, andI purchase an ice cream cornet, with optional flake, as I go.   The going gets hard as I findmyself trudging with skis through a deep-pan pizza, which slows me right down,especially as my Antarctic sledge is snagging on the anchovies.   At the corner of the road Iam momentarily dazed as an apple falls on my head and I discover the laws ofgravity, before slipping and sliding on a very long banana skin…   So that’s it. I could go on,with a longer list, but the point is that if I know the route, I can link eachplace with a ludicrous image of each item on my list: baked bean bridge, butterpatch, pig, cow, huge spoon, enormous pea, ice cream van, deep-pan pizza,apple, banana…   And if I think of going theother way, I can easily recall the list in reverse order: banana, apple, pizza,ice cream, pea, spoon, milk, ham, butter, baked beans – effortless!! For more about memory, visit: http://www.steprightthisway.eclipse.co.uk/MEMORY

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