Memory Palace

(Method of Loci) by Tommy Dunkle

Why is this interesting?

Well, it's of the oldest mnemonic systems is the method of loci [LOW-sye]. It was adopted in ancient Roman and Greek rhetorical treatises. It uses visualization to organize and recall information. You basically make rooms with random events occurring as you go through them and you remember things you organize in the room.

Memorizing can be fun...

If you wanted to, you could try-out making your own memory palace. Take a deck of cards (shuffled) go through them top to bottom, and with each car try to make a story about each card...EX: you'd most likely want to start outside and make your way through the palace. First car :2 of Diamonds. (You start outside and have to open the diamond double doors to enter the front yard (2nd card- 8 of Spades) in the front yard there are 8 black mushrooms growing along the walkway)....and so on, practice and practice until you can memorize and entire deck of cards, it could be pretty fun.


In 1986, Allan Paivio performed an experiment in order to test the Method of Loci and how subjects in an experiment would best remember information, subject-verb pairs, given to them. This information was taught four different ways; standard learning instructions, self-imagery instructions, and other imagery instructions. Experimenters hypothesized that if the subject was to enact the action given to them, then they would be better able to recall the specific item that went along with it. The conclusion of this experiment showed that subjects given the information through enactment instructions were better able to recall the specific item in each piece of information.