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Memory Palace

It is extremely important for students to learn up their school syllabus properly and more so in India where the CBSE pays so much emphasis to rote learning. Therefore, it is important that the students use their brains as efficiently as possible and hence we have written about one of the most famous and effective memorisation techniques in an attempt to aid school students.

A memorisation method that has withstood the depths of time and has been scientifically proven to be an effective memorisation technique by modern day scholars is called the method of loci (memory palace).

It’s a science that was even employed by American author Thomas Harris when he wrote about his fictional serial killer Hannibal in the novel series. The novel chronicles Hannibal navigating through an elaborate memory palace to remember facts. This technique increases one’s ability to memorise and retain by making the memories distinctive and bizzare. 

This technique works uniquely for each. For example, you could memorise details through a sequence of words or even events associated with the memory. The idea behind the memory palace technique is to create a chain of words like in a sequence. 

For example, as the Williamson – ether synthesis dictates : If you throw a magic wand and a bottle of beer into a well on a hill, and as you reel up the bucket from the well you will find a pair of angel wings. It is possible because the magic wand is an organohalide, The bottle of beer is alcohol and the creative pair of angel wings represents an ether. The word one would use to memorise this memory palace would be ‘well’ which would remind us of Williamson.

Another example would be a method to memorise the SN2 mechanism. One could imagine 5 ninjas on a roof of a building arranged in a cross pattern, such as a tetrahedral structure. The middle ninja is being attacked by a tiger. One of the cowardly ninjas from the back runs away and the tiger remains with the other ninjas.

The memory palace has presence on television as well where it is used by Sherlock Holmes to help him remember facts important to the case. As is the case with most things on television the memory palace has also been dramatised quite a bit in the series. The powers of the memory palace have been exaggerated. 

Things to remember while making a memory palace: 1. Choose a place that you’re familiar with. 2. Don’t cramp too much information into the same place. 3. Picture the vision in a logical order

Panshul Singh & Aadya Choudhary