Mind Palace Technique doesn’t fall under the category of simple memory tips that presents you with a common solution: “Write things down to help you remember”.
This article is not about writing on paper or noting down the to-do list/notes in apps. What if you are in a position where all you have is your brain. Nothing Else. This article is about that.
The core of the Mind Palace Memory Technique is that you use rooms in your head to store information. It’s just like a home inside your head, with a vivid and detailed location. All you need is to simply close our eyes, imagine the familiar place, add information to them, and recall from memory whenever you need it.
You can also apply spaced repetition if we want to make the information permanent.
This skill will not only help you to increase your thinking capacity but will also help you memorize complex passwords for which you are dependent upon Password Manager like LastPass.
The items that we want to remember must be mentally associated with a specific predefined locations that we are already familiar with. This method heavily depends on Visual and spatial memory along with vivid emotion to make it better.
This is also known as the “Journey Method” or “Loki Method”. Since this method is dependent on visual memory; hence we need to improve that first.
Is the Mind Palace a real technique?
Of course. I have my own mental fortress. It is something I use on a daily basis. It’s not a tough task. Using the Loci method, there are many memory athletes who could also memorize multiple decks of cards, names and faces, random words, 10000 digits of pi, and much more.
Every single thing we see is recorded somewhere in our minds. All you must do is remember it at the appropriate time.And with practice, you can get better at it.
During my college years, I used this technique frequently to remember periodic tables, electrical engineering formulas, theorems, and other tedious information. The goal is to learn quickly by giving what you’re learning a precise meaning.
Brain imaging of “superior memorizers” showed that 90% or so who use the method of loci technique, revealed that it involves activation of spatial awareness-related brain regions such as the medial parietal cortex, retrosplenial cortex, and right posterior hippocampus.
In short, Mind Palace is a real technique that you can learn to do yourself.
What are the most important elements of mind palace?
There are two most important elements while using mind palace:
- Vivid Visual Imagination.
- Minimum Text/Word.
Just knowing about the method is not good enough, it has to be practiced and used often. Memory is just like muscles, the more one use, the better it gets. All memory champions use this method in one form or another.
As an example, an 8-time world memory champion, Dominic O’Brien used this method to memorize 54 decks of cards in sequence while only having seen each card once. If he can do it, so can you.
All you need is the practice to become a memory champion.
Note: “Write things down to help you remember” is indeed an effective method to help fight forgetfulness. Because when we write anything, we use multiple senses: touch, vision, the sound of pen’s friction and it works.
But, here we will learn how to get better results without lifting our pen or mobile.
How do you use the Mind Palace technique?
The mind palace is a mnemonic technique that allows you to remember information more easily by mentally placing corresponding visual images along a path in a familiar location.
The Greek poet Simonides of Ceos is credited with inventing this technique, which involves conjuring up vivid images of objects in a familiar setting. It is a popular method among so-called memory athletes.
The strategy works because it maps monotonous information onto something the brain has evolved to excel at: recalling imagery in specific locations.
Since images are easier to remember than words, they invented a visual technique in which thoughts are captured as images in the mind’s eye, and they recall what was said.
What is the fastest way to memorize mind palace?
You can use your mind palace quickly if you already have a mind palace in your memory. It is also possible to create a new memory palace quickly with enough practice. But it will take many hours of practice to create a new mind palace(your first few memory palace), you need patience during the initial days.
How to improve Visual Memory?
One simple exercise is to take any item present near you and look into it. Analyze all the details which you normally overlook. Now close the eyes and try to visualize the details. Can you remember how it looks?
The color, the shape, any logo, what it was, and so on.
At first, if you cannot do it, you shouldn’t get dishearten. With practice, you can definitely improve.
Try the same technique with any room you are in. Just look around the room for once, close your eyes and try to recall.
The basic idea is to visualize replicate what you need around you, to improve your imagination power. And remember: “The more you use your brain the better it becomes”.
What is the right way to do visual associations?
The Memory Palace method takes advantage of the fact that our brains are fantastic at remembering visual, spatial, sensory, and emotional information.
Because our brains remember sensory and emotional information incredibly well, use as many senses as possible, make things strange and colorful, and that will keep them in memory for a long time.
My personal advice is to create many locations (memory palaces) in your mind and to avoid having too many pegs (items to hook information). This will assist you in keeping the images in your memory clean, focused, and distinct.
- Choose a location that you can easily recall and visualize in your mind.
- Choose a route that you can always mentally walk through once you have the location.
The emotional and association hooks make it easier for our brains to recall the information.
Do people actually use the mind palace technique? Does it work?
Yes, we humans have used this technique since the dawn of civilization, but the term was coined later.
Scientists recently discovered that your brain is similar to a muscle, and by training it regularly can cause it to grow by forming new cellular pathways.
It turns out that the mental athletes had been using visual memory and spatial navigation to convert the information they were memorizing into images, which they then placed into a mentally constructed “palace”. So, this technique works and people are using it.
What is Loci method of memorization?
The loci method is a memory enhancement strategy that involves visualizing familiar spatial environments in order to improve information recall and was first developed in Ancient Greece.
The plural form of the Latin word locus, which means place or location, is loci. Dominic O’Brien refers to the loci method as the Journey Method.
What is the use of loci method?
To help us remember the information, we place each item to be remembered at a different point along a hypothetical journey.
By revisiting the same route through the imaginary journey, the information can be recalled in a specific order.
What is Memory Pegging?
Our Memory Palace is distinguished by its memory peg. The goal is to give your memories a place to hock the information.
Henry Herdson’s mnemonic peg system is a memory aid that works by creating one-to-one mental associations between two concrete items that can then be applied to remember the information.
The peg is a hook on which the information is hung. Any type of peg system will work just fine as long as it is simple to remember and consistently applied.
We’re not great at remembering things, especially when they’re circling around in our heads.
Our spatial memory, on the other hand, is quite good, and when we give our memories some hierarchy, we provide the missing sequence and relevance.
The other part of the trick is to present a dynamic experience in your head. This emphasizes the importance of being present at the moment and paying attention to what is going on around us.
What is the name of the technique used by Sherlock Holmes to remember?
The memory technique used by Sherlock Holmes is called the Method of Loci, or the Memory Palace. It’s old, time tested, and very effective as per research. In the days of Greek, paper was costly, and so people had to rely more on their own memory. Thus, the Method of Loci was handy for them.
Can I use my Memory Palace twice?
It’s possible to reuse the palaces on a regular basis if you’re using them for training for a competition and the information does not need to be stored for a long time. But unless you clean out the place before you reuse it, you will get interference from old images.
I believe it is safer to have completely separate, designated palaces for permanent details. Test yourself to see just what works the best for you.
How do I find my first memory palace?
Your initial memory palace should be somewhere you are quite familiar with, such as familiar city streets.
If you’re having trouble remembering numbers, try visualizing them: 1 may be a tree, 2 might be a duck, 3 might be cricket stumps made of stick, and so on.
Every two-digit number between 00 and 99 is converted into a single image, preferably of a person or thing executing an activity on an object, in this system.
It is recommended that the memory path be kept simple by travelling from one street to the next. You can also choose the rooms in your house. You have complete freedom in how you combine your photographs.
You only need a palace location and an image to remember: the crazier, funnier, or more strange the image, the easier it will be to recall. Your palace could be a depiction of your childhood home.
It’s not necessary for the mind palace to be based on a genuine location, but it helps: the more familiar you are with the structure, the easier it will be to find what you’re looking for.
The main idea of the Mind Palace is to image a space, such as your childhood home, and image what you need to remember as an item to be placed in a precise spot, often co-located with furniture.
How do I know if my memory palace is good?
The memory palace is good if you can visualize it without problems. It’s important to revise the memory palace from time to time. If it’s not perfect on the first try, don’t be concerned. You will improve as a result of practicing.
Try to recall the mind palace route using your mind’s eye only, that’s the main thing.Think of a specific walkthrough in your home.You should use your office, home, school or a familiar route every day.Walk the actual route when possible, and repeat out loud the distinctive features you see when you see them.
What is Sherlock’s Mind Palace?
Sherlock’s Mind Palace is just a systematic arrangement of information/memories/facts that can be acquired consciously and subconsciously and saved in a predefined memory location so that when needed it can be easily retrieved.
Sherlock is a fictitious character, and he can do anything, But the question is:
Can We Learn Mind Palace?
Yes, anyone can learn the mind palace. We have been using it without knowing that it is. Human being has the inherent ability to learn information through linkages of one memory with another memory.
This is the reason why our “monkey mind” jumps from one thought to another.
All of us are born with Eidetic or photographic memory, i.e. ability to recall an image from memory with the precision that varies from individual to individual. And this is the basic requirement to develop Mind Palace.
If you still don’t trust your ability, just try to remember where is your TV, Refrigerator, your favorite restaurant, local Railway station/Bus Stand, or all the exciting places you visited on your last vacation or more common your school building.
If I ask you about them, you can vividly describe to me where is what.
If you can do this, then you are already using Mind Palace. You have the memory map where you can store the information to recall later.
How to create a memory palace in my brain?
A mind palace (also known as a memory palace) is a structure you create in your mind where you consciously deposit thoughts and try to retrieve them later. A shopping list, a username and password, or the face of someone you want to remember are all possibilities.
Memory training will improve the ability to remember things for longer periods of time.
Building a memory palace is not as difficult as it may appear. All you have to do is arrange the information you want to remember along a familiar visual path.
You can encode the information with another familiar item (something that you are familiar with) while placing it, and then try to remember it.
Items are retrieved by ‘walking’ through the loci, which allows them to activate the desired items.
How to learn Sherlock’s Mind Palace Memory Technique?
#1. The first thing is to decide a map location for yourself, someplace which you are very familiar with like Your Room; Your Kitchen; Your friend Room, etc. Here, I will suggest you to start using a room or place that has less element for pegging or pin.
The objective is to make you familiar with the concept. Once your brain is comfortable with this technique, you can use a Map as big as you want. Like the one, Benedict Cumberbatch uses in the Sherlock TV series.
If you are an enthusiastic video game player of games like PUBG, Counter-Strike, IGI, Far Cry, Grand Theft Auto, or Assassin’s Creed type games; then you already know their game field map and your first and second step is complete.
#2. Now try to establish permanent items on the Map/Room. If you have a typical room like mine you will have at least 10 stuff like a doorknob, study table, desktop PC/Laptop/Mobile-getting-charged, bookshelf, photo album, bed, chair, window, teapot/water jug, hanger-for-cloths.
Don’t use the same object twice i.e. if you have 2 chairs, consider them as One Group Only. Always select discrete objects.
#3. Now set a fixed route for viewing the objects. Repeat the route forward as well as backward but always in the same route order. If you need, you can number your discrete object.
Like if you take my above example then:
- 1. Doorknob
- 2. Study table
- 3. Desktop PC/Laptop/Mobile-getting-charged
- 4. Bookshelf
- 5. Photo album
- 6. Bed
- 7. Chair
- 8. Window
- 9. Teapot/water jug
- 10. Hanger-for-cloths
You have to practice this map, over and over again so that it comes easily to you and for that use the spaced repetition technique mentioned in the next subheading.
Now is the fun part. Suppose you have 10 grocery items to remember:
- 1. Balloon
- 2. Chocolate
- 3. Shoes
- 4. Hammer
- 5. Rice
- 6. Chicken
- 7. Oil
- 8. Biscuit
- 9. Oats
- 10. Cashew Nuts.
#4. Add the items to your mind predefined mind palace by using the visualization technique. Make it as abstract, funny, weird, emotional as you can. More the emotion, the better the association.
You can make an interlinking story or keep it standalone, doesn’t matter, it will work. But making the items interlink has helped the majority of people. Let’s take my example:
I will start visualizing the items by placing them on my room map:
A big red balloon is tied with my doorknob. But there is something special about the balloon, it’s glowing from inside because there is a light inside the balloon.
I cut the rope and the balloon fall on my study table and it blasted Chocolates. There was chocolate all around the room. Those were my favorite 5-Star Chocolates.
I went to my Laptop to google how to clean my room. The laptop threw a shoe on my face yelling, It’s your room, pick a broom and clean it. Do action, Not research.
As I was cleaning my room, I found a hammer lying on the ground. I took it and threw it towards my Book Shelf to keep it. Alas! My Glass Bookshelf broke into pieces and magically transformed into golden rice.
Looking towards the golden rice, I suddenly realized my dream of a world tour. I took some golden rice and went towards the Photo Album having the world map. I am so happy, finally, my dream is going to get fulfilled.
I still had my room to clean, so I went towards my Bed to remove it and clean underneath. But I was unable. I did not have the strength to do so. So, I ate chicken legs while sitting on my bed and suddenly I was filled with Super Man strength.
I tried to jump and fly like Super Man, but I fell over my Chair and hurt my hand. I had a medicinal Oil near me, which I applied on my hand while sitting on my chair.
Sitting on my chair, I was feeling hot, so I tried to open my window but it was stuck. Near the Window was a very Big Biscuit packet, the one I like. I took it and thrust the door. It opened but a sudden strong aroma struck me. I felt hungry.
I went towards my Electric Tea Pot and all I had was Masala Oats. So, I poured water from Jug over the masala oats. There were no vegetables present at home. Suddenly I remembered I had cashew nuts in my jeans.
I went towards my Cloth Hanger and took the Cashew nuts, and enjoyed my snack.
Note: The grocery list was random, I made my story based on its order. Go and make your grocery list.
If you get confused while making a list of groceries for practice, then just go to Amazon Grocery Section and select any random items or You can use any other website or ask your family members/friends.
#5. Now that you know how to make one mind palace location and use it, start building more locations. Remember, always choose different locations for different purposes like to-do list, grocery list, speech keywords, cards, etc.
It will take some time to learn the first map and associate items with them but it’s worth it. Once your brain becomes comfortable with this, it can do it instantaneously.
Just, trust the process and most importantly TRUST YOUR BRAIN.
During the learning phase if you have trouble recalling the images, try modifying them to make them more memorable by adding fun, bizarre, emotional, etc. Analyze your recalling ability and see what works.
Build several palaces and use them as much as possible. The more you build, the easier it gets.
How is Mind Palace method related to Sherlock Holmes?
This special mind palace technique was first invented in Ancient Greece by the Greek poet Simonides of Ceos, But most recently It’s our brilliant actor Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes that made it tempting to try to apply in our life.
I came to know about this technique when I was in Class 10 but I never applied it till I was in Engineering College. I had many things to learn and was in search of something that works & Mind Palace method does work.
Sherlock Holmes used the mind palace technique to solve crime in the famous episode of “The Hounds of Baskerville”. In this episode, John was seen explaining what Sherlock was doing to Dr. Stapleton. He said, and I quote:
Sherlock was not the only character in the series who had this ability.
Charles Augustus Magnussen also called the “Napoleon of blackmail” by Sherlock Holmes, used this technique to blackmail people.
Is Sherlock’s mind palace method possible?
Yes, it is possible, but it will take a great deal of practice. Hours of training and the use of the right mnemonic strategies are likely to be the key to a Sherlock-like ability to put a name to a face and other phenomenal feats of memory.
The thing about a memory palace is that it’s difficult to get it right in the first place. Unfortunately, Sherlock’s representation was incorrect because he did not have multiple places within his palace.
In some ways, his mental palace was more for mental getaway than for archiving or processing information. To truly utilize your palaces, you must create consistency in the size of each location, become better acquainted with it, and then simply imagine yourself walking through it!
In which episodes Sherlock Holmes was seen using the Mind Palace?
Sherlock used the Mind palaces in three episodes:
- The Hounds of Baskerville
- His Last Vow
- The Abominable Bride
Can I Use Body Parts for Mind Palace Mapping?
Yes, you can and along with the mind palace method map of your room, I will highly recommend you to make a map of your body. Start at the top of your head and create some locations: As an example:
- 1. Top of the head
- 2. Forehead
- 3. Eye
- 4. Nose
- 5. Ears
- 6. Mouth
- 7. Throat
- 8. Shoulder
- 9. Chest
- 10. Stomach/naval.
You can divide your body up into smaller locations to create more locations, working all the way down to your feet. Use the above list to remember your daily grocery items. These are generally small lists so having its mentioned on the body is easy and quick.
What are the benefits of mind palace training?
If you do the mind palace training correctly, especially with the loci method, it will increase your brain connectivity between multiple information and aid in long-term memory storage.
According to the research, after training with the loci method, the individuals had better, longer-lasting memory than after training with any other memory technique or no technique at all.
How to remember pieces of information for a long time?
Using Spaced Repetition for Memory we can remember information for a long time. Revision is the key to the retention of information in long-term memory.
The steps to apply Spaced Repetition are:
- Revise/Repeat information immediately after learning.
- Revise/Repeat information After 15min.
- Revise/Repeat information After 8 hours.
- Revise/Repeat information After 24 hours.
- Revise/Repeat information After 1 month.
- Revise/Repeat information After 3 months.
- Revise/Repeat information After 1 year.
That’s it, the information will become permanent.
Now, this is what I follow for all my learning. You may need/have different intervals but Don’t skip: immediate, 15min, and 1day Revise/Repeat pattern. Others will depend upon your need.
Note: Techniques are mere guidelines; how you implement them matter.
Everyone is different and needs a self-tailored pattern. So, invest time in yourself and find the one that works for you and you alone. Yoga, meditation and physical exercise will help you a lot in sharpening your memory and in turn help you locate information inside your mind.
What is the best memory booster?
The amygdala, a part of the brain that is important for processing emotion, encourages other parts of the brain to store memories and that’s why strong emotions make it more likely that memories will stick.
This suggests that the memory palace technique involves bringing in more sections of the mind that are generally allocated to other senses — the parietal lobe is responsible for direction, and the occipital lobe is associated with viewing images and thus help to boost memory.
And the most critical thing to boost memory is to repeat knowledge in order to convert a short-term memory to a long-term memory. There are no simple shortcut solution for memory booster.
What is the benefit of memory training?
Our brain operates more effectively as a result of training, and increased connection across brain regions is necessary for long-term memory retention. As a result, the most obvious advantage of memory training is the ability to recall more.
Memory training also has the benefit of improving performance on analytical problems and reading skills, as well as enhanced attention in everyday activities, as I observed.
Are memory palaces useful in the digital age?
Yes, they’re still useful. I can point 5 reasons right away.
- You are not dependent on a machine that may fail due to many reasons like a dead battery, no internet connectivity, etc.
- To get social recognition and workplace superiority. People will look up to you as a person of great mental feat.
- It’s fast, very fast then writing or noting down. Even a voice recognition system needs to process the voice sample. But your brain can do it faster.
- You cannot keep noting people’s name and address as you go on with the day. Practically it’s not possible and lack of this data may cause you a lot. So, learning this technique is good.
- For job interview/viva/entrance exams, you cannot take electronic gadgets. All you have is the world’s best supercomputer with you, your brain. So, invest in your brain’s working manual and polish it by practicing. It’s worth every time of yours.
Any Good Recommended Books Memory Palace Technique?
These 5 books are my personal favorite. They explain the Mind Palace method and other memory techniques in simple language and let you understand the basics.
But mere reading will not help you, you have to practice the methods and trust your brain.
- Moon walking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything Paperback by Joshua Foer
- Unlimited Memory: How to Use Advanced Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More and be More Productive by Kevin Horsley
- The Memory Code: Unlocking the Secrets of the Lives of the Ancients and the Power of the Human Mind by Dr. Lynne Kelly
- How to Develop a Brilliant Memory Week by Week by DOMINIC O’BRIEN
- The Art of Memory by Frances A. Yates
In this technique, you have to memorize the layout of some known places like our home, school building, locality, etc. These places must have unique contrasting loci(points) so that you can peg later.
When you want to remember some set of items you have to walk through these loci in a fixed pattern and link each item with each locus. During the initial days, it’s recommended that you choose only those places which exist in real life and you are familiar with.
The more detailed palace you can make, the better.
If you plan to store lots of information in your mind palace, then it’s better you organize the maps first. Don’t randomly keep the information.
Just remember these four points:
- Create your first map. Don’t wait. Do it right now. The best way to memorize your palace is to take a walk in your palace in your mind. The more you walk in your palace the more you remember it.
- Use memory palace to get better. See the above-detailed procedure. While associating items, make the image as bizarre or hilarious or weird/shocking as possible. Add emotions, make it too big or small. Just play with your imagination. The more you can do it, the better will be the retention.
- Result tracking, but be flexible. Don’t be harsh on yourself. At first, it will seem tough, but with practice, your brain can easily associate and apply the technique quicker than writing them down.
- Explain to someone else. The more you explain, the better you become at it. So, don’t be shy about teaching this technique to your loved ones.
Practice Mind Palace Memory Technique daily and soon you will unlock your super brain.
If I have missed any point, do correct me by reaching me out at any of my social media platforms(I have many😅). https://www.facebook.com/themindpedia/ https://www.facebook.com/blogmonkpedia/ https://twitter.com/theMindPedia https://twitter.com/blogmonk https://www.reddit.com/user/themindpedia_com https://www.instagram.com/themindpedia/ https://www.instagram.com/blog.monk/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4CPE9dL56jVcglM4LJNRRw https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_Z5pl4uZZaH64S7I95vRjw
- A Virtual Mind Palace: Adapting the Method of Loci to Virtual Reality: https://bora.uib.no/handle/1956/15994
- From crime lab to mind palace: post-CSI forensics in Sherlock: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17400309.2016.1187890
- Testing the efficacy of the Mind Palace. The role of spatial navigation and emotion in memory: https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:123653
- The Virtual Memory Palace: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/229059664_The_Virtual_Memory_Palace
- Bower, G. H., Analysis of a Mnemonic Device: Modern psychology uncovers the powerful components of an ancient system for improving memory American Scientist, Vol. 58, No. 5, pp. 496-510, September-October 1970 Web. 21 Jan. 2016. https://www.jstor.org/stable/27829239?seq=1
FAQ on Mind Palace Memory Technique
What is the World Memory Championship?
World Memory Championship is an event organized where people start competing to see who can memorize the sequence of an arbitrarily shuffled pack of playing cards the fastest, or who can repeat hundreds of irregular numbers in order after only seeing them once. Present day memory competitions, such as the World Memory Championship, were first held in 1991, with the first United States championship ooccurring6 years afterwards in 1997.
Is a Sherlock Mind Palace a real thing?
Yes. But to replicate Sherlock’s mind palace where you can put every bit of information on one big made-up palace is VERY tough, if not impossible. It will require time and practice to learn the skills and become awesome.
What is the use of learning Mind Palace?
You can use Mind Palace to give speeches without notes, memorize lines, memorize schoolwork, memorize chapters of books, and just about anything.
How can I build and use Mind Palace like Sherlock?
I can suggest you just two exercise to achieve that feat. Learn and practice Meditate along with training your neurons by actually applying the technique daily, as often as possible/needed. If you perform these two action every day and then maybe one day you too will have a perfect Eidetic memory or “Sherlock Mind Palace”.
Why Do We Forget?
Forgetting is our brain’s self-healing mechanism to save us from information overdose. The rough edges of memory caused by pains and traumas of life are smoothed out to heal us. Plus, we as human beings focus on understanding the world and not remembering it.