How many things can you remember at one time? Commonly cited, is George Miller’s finding, people can remember on average “seven, plus or minus two” items–whether that be digits, shapes, names, etc. But what if I told you there are people capable of quickly memorizing lists of THOUSANDS of numbers or the order of all the cards in a deck? And that anyone, including you, can learn how to do it?
The technique is called the Memory Palace or the method of loci. The technique is a “mnemonic device adopted in ancient Roman and Greek rhetorical treatises.” In other words, it is a method of memory that creatively used visualization to organize and recall information.
The Memory Palace is based on the fact that we are actually pretty darn good a remembering places we know. The technique requires you to create stories within a familiar place to guide you to recall all sorts of information.
Check out this TED talk by Joshua Foer, a freelance journalist, who “accidentally” became the 2006 USA Memory Champion.