“Unlimited Memory”, Kevin Horsley

Earlier this week, I finished reading a book called “Unlimited Memory”. As the title might suggest, the book is about memory, and more specifically, about how to train your brain to remember more.

To be honest, I bought the book on a whim and picked it up, sceptical that I would learn anything of great value from it. I have to say, however, that I am happy to have given it a chance. I already knew a lot of the tricks mentioned in “Unlimited Memory”, but, reading it brought them all back to the surface again. It has motivated me to incorporate memory techniques while studying and treat the sometimes “boring” study sessions as memory games. Here are some of the notes that I took while reading:


– THE JOURNEY METHOD

All memory methods work with the formula (LTM + STM = MTM):

Long-term memory + Short-term memory = Medium-term memory

One of the techniques for memorization taught in the book is known as The Journey Method. It’s easy. The first step is choosing a location stored in your long-term memory. This can be anywhere – just make sure that you know the place or route well. Then, the second step is creating clear images of the things that you want to remember and placing these images in distinct spots within the location you’ve chosen.
When imagining the scene, try to use the SEE principles. They are:

  • S for SENSES: Utilize your senses. “Hear a piece of information and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%.”
  • E for EXAGGERATION: “What is easier to remember: a strawberry that is normal size or one the size of a house?”
  • E for ENERGIZE: give your pictures action.

My mum actually taught me this trick years ago when I was still at school. I used it to memorize difficult quotes for an exam and I remember being so impressed that I knew each quote word for word without having put effort into studying them. All of that to say, the Journey Method definitely works.


– REMEMBERING NUMBERS

A method for remembering numbers was also introduced in the book. This is something I had never heard of before and found interesting. The technique requires you to put a little bit of work at first, but once you’ve started using it a few times, it gets easier. The first step is remembering this table:

0: S, Z or C sound
5: L sound
1: T or D sound
6: J, Sh, Ch or G sound
2: N sound
7: K or C sound
3: M sound8: F or V sound
4: R sound
9: B or P sound

It might look a little tedious but, it’s worth the trouble because, once that’s done, you can memorize any number in a short amount of time. For example: 3472 9401215 721110 is the same as remembering aMeRiCaN PReSiDeNTiaL CaNDiDaTeS. The way that the author remembers dates is by taking the three last digits in the date and then using the code above to remember them. The Nobel Prize was first awarded in 1901. This can be remembered by imagining that the first prize was made of PaSTa (a bit silly but it works).


Comment 1

  1. Christina January 19, 2019

    Maybe it works because it’s silly, by the same token as the huge strawberry is more easily remembered than the normal :-). Super interesting post!

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