Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Having trouble remembering what to do? Use the LOCI SYSTEM

The Loci system (the oldest mnemonic system on record) takes a little preparation and practice, but once you are ready, it can be very effective. The first step is to memorize a series of familiar locations in a particular order. You may choose to do a virtual walkthrough of your house (front door, hall, living room, kitchen, etc.), or you may choose to use places along your drive to work. The key is to make sure that you can conjure up a vivid mental image of each location. You must over-learn these locations because they are going to be your memory aid.

The second step is to take each item you are trying to memorize and associate it with a location using a vivid mental image. For example, take this list: clown, banana, giraffe, and moon. You might start by visualizing a clown jumping at you as you enter your front door followed by slipping on a banana as you walk down the hall. Then you could be surprised to see a giraffe eating a plant in your living room. You go into the kitchen and see a lunar eclipse through the window. Now, whenever you need to remember the list, you can do a mental walkthrough of your house and remember each visualization.

Once you have memorized your locations, they can be used over and over again to memorize different lists throughout your life. You can use any type of location, just make sure that each one is distinct.

Don't think it works? check this out ...

And if you get through the wikipedia reading you might find out why the Hannibal Lecter photo is attached.



Ruth Wahtera said...

Michael, Do you use this system on a regular basis? For what kinds of things?

I understand how it could be used for speeches and exams, shopping lists, to-do lists. (I think paper works pretty well for the lists!) But, are there practical, day-to-day applications that could help my aging brain?

Or, should I try it just for its beauty -- and in case I, like Lecter, need to escape into my mind?

candace said...

so is it a dangerous place or a sanctuary?

~Michael~ said...

Hi Ruth,

Yes you can use this system for any list of tasks you might have to rememeber.
It's a matter of training your brain to think in pictures instead of thinking to remember what you need to do.