How to improve memorization? Learn from the ancient Greeks

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Ricky Joseph

The desire to discover how to improve memorization and identify how the minds behind great achievements work using memory drove the study published in the scientific journal Neuron.

The finding made in the study improved the memory capacity of people with typical memory skills in 40 days.

Is it possible to increase memory skills?

Cognitive neuroscientists examined the brains of 23 "world memory champions" to find out how to enhance the brains of people with typical memory skills.

Then, researchers at Radboud University in the Netherlands looked at the brains of these champions with exceptional memory using structural MRI scans. One would imagine that the physical structure of these brains is more robust. But, that's not what these scans pointed out.

Instead, the researchers noticed major differences in brain connectivity patterns.

In particular, what strongly differentiated the memory champions were subsets of 25 connections.

Importantly, the observed effect was primarily driven by patterns of connectivity between brain networks during resting baseline tasks.

SEE ALSO: Grey parrot outperforms 21 Harvard students in memory test

How to improve the ability to memorize?

The memory athletes tested in this study reported having mnemonic training strategies to enhance their memory skills.

So, this information made the researchers wonder: Can anyone's mind, through training, have these extremely sharp connectivity patterns? If yes, then can anyone obtain spectacular memory abilities?

So, the researchers gathered 51 people with typical memory skills and led them through the Loci Method training.

This technique originated from the ancient Greeks and Romans. Loci is a Latin term for "places".

The basic premise is to visualize a physical space, perhaps a street or park, and memorize the place of some words, items, or concepts as you "walk" through the space in your imagination.

Thus, the training was performed 30 minutes a day for 40 days.

As a result, before the training conducted with the Loci Method, the people who participated in the study could remember an average of 26 to 30 words. Afterwards, they remembered an average of 65 words.

What were the findings for memory?

Finally, follow-up MRI scans were performed to see if those 25 connections that differentiated the memory champions, had changed in any way in the people who performed the study.

The finding was development in two brain regions: the medial prefrontal cortex and the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

These regions are associated with the relationship of new knowledge with pre-existing knowledge and strategic learning, respectively.

According to author Martin Dresler, assistant professor of cognitive neuroscience, in a statement he reported that it makes sense that these connections are affected. These are exactly the areas tested by the Loci Method for memorization.

The organization of the brain network associated with memory can be achieved with the Method of Loci.

The practice of the Loci Method leads individuals to creativity and memorization.

The study was published in the scientific journal Neuron. Information from IFL Science.

Ricky Joseph is a seeker of knowledge. He firmly believes that through understanding the world around us, we can work to better ourselves and our society as a whole. As such, he has made it his life's mission to learn as much as he can about the world and its inhabitants. Joseph has worked in many different fields, all with the aim of furthering his knowledge. He has been a teacher, a soldier, and a businessman - but his true passion lies in research. He currently works as a research scientist for a major pharmaceutical company, where he is dedicated to finding new treatments for diseases that have long been considered incurable. Through diligence and hard work, Ricky Joseph has become one of the foremost experts on pharmacology and medicinal chemistry in the world. His name is known by scientists everywhere, and his work continues to improve the lives of millions.