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Constructing a Memory Palace – Epic Science #27


– Want to improve your memory? It’s easy. Just turn your mind into a
fun house of images, trust me. There was a time long, long ago when humans had to rely on their noggins instead of putting their to
do list in their smartphones or looking up a random bit of
information on the internet, and before books became widely available, the ability to memorize information was paramount, not just a party trick. In fact, some of the greatest
Greek and Roman minds in history relied on their
sharp mental memories in order to deliver exceptional speeches
without the aid of notes, and some of them did this
using the losi or loci method, also known as the memory palace. The idea is to take some place
that you know really well, say, your home, and then
put in some really cool mental images, some symbolic
images that serve as stand-ins for the actual things
that you want to remember. The wackier these images, the easier it is for your brain to recall them. So let’s say that I wanna remember what the molecular
structure for caffeine is. Well, that is C eight,
H 10, N four, O two. How did I commit that to memory? Well I made a memory palace,
and this is how I did it. Alright so for my memory
palace I have decided that I am going to make my front door into a giant piece of carbon copy paper. Now that carbon copy
paper besides fluttering in the wind very dramatically has an infinity sign in gold in it. It’s just glowing, and so that is really emblazoned in my memory
now and I start to think about this well, if I
turn that infinity sign that looks like an eight so all of a sudden I have my eight carbon atoms. Now, I’m gonna pass through
that portal into my living room. So now I’m in the living room and I look up and I see
10 Hindenburg airships. Obviously what we’re talking about here is 10 atoms of hydrogen right? Hindenburg, hydrogen, it’s all there. And then I take a trip to
The Louvre where I come face to face with four
naked ne’er-do-wells an obvious stand in for
four nitrogen atoms right? Of course two octopi would
be on hand to help towel off the naked ne’er-do-wells and now I have my two oxygen atoms. And bingo I have pinned
down the molecular structure of caffeine to my spatial memory. The method works because the hippocampus, the place that stores memory also does double duty with spatial reasoning. In a study published
in the journal Nature; mental athletes, people like Ed Cooke who can commit a thousand digit number to his memory in just an hour, these people were asked to look at three digit numbers, black and white photos,
and magnified images of snowflakes and commit them to memory. Researchers found that in
comparison to the control group that the mental
athletes were actually using more of their spatial
memory and essentially pegging the things that they wanted to remember to blueprints in their minds. Alright here is a challenge. Can you use the memory
palace to commit as many digits of pi to your memory as possible. You could put a couple of digits in each of the rooms of your memory palace. Let us know how it goes in the comments below and make sure to subscribe for more mind blowing videos.

Glenn Chapman

85 Comments

  1. thats great but i can visualize letters pretty easily and yeah i even have the ability to realize which event triggered the memory and that thought but it still is not absolute clear,i have this ability for auditory and visual memory and i even can trace which memory and event has triggered which imaginative idea or a mental image when i am daydreaming.i really requires a very good imaginative ability which can be a very good servant but a bad master,because i sometimes get very absent minded

  2. One day i lost 10000 lines of code, but i could recover every line because i remember every function as a room with things. Of course new bug appeared, but cool thing is that i reproduced several bugs that existed in lost version. Was cool and sad, never more i lost code as a programmer in my life.

  3. i draw goofy pictures of the things i need to learn and the pictures stay in my head and when i need to answer a question in school i just remember that picture and automatically know the answer

  4. Helium was abundant in the US and at the time the US didn't have good ties with Germany. So they decided to use hydrogen even though it was much more dangerous. I still remember this from a report I did way back in 6th grade.

  5. I don't really get memory palaces. I have a terrible memory but when I try to do something like this I'm just stumped, it just feels odd and I still don't remember it. I honestly have no idea how I remember anything as this doesn't work for me.

  6. well it's different for everybody. I can use it to remember words, numbers, objects, but I am terrible, absolutely terrible at memorizing faces, dates and names. Unless it's someone I'm interested in like a scientist, in which case I can remember ridiculous amounts of trivia about them!

  7. Yikes. That is a lot of unused space.

    When I open my coffee can lid, there's a TV screen with Cartoon Network playing on channel 84, and a character with 2 O's for hands with 10 H's for fingers and thumbs. The character falls, and grabs the CN symbol from behind in the corner with the fingers ( H's ) grasping the C, and the N showing up in front of the O like a superhero chest piece [circle with a letter] (to show how they're paired up. C – H (H is behind the C) N – O.

  8. He called it a palace. Said it was his mind palace.
    Watson: Yeah well he would now, wouldn't he?

  9. I've never been fully successful in my attempts to appropriate the Loci method, regardless of how extreme the imagery I constructed. The associations failed to congeal. All I got was scenarios of my grandma wearing a clown wig performing fellatio on a T-Rex trying to juggle flaming bowling pins hilariously with it's tiny arms.

    What I needed to remember was the 5th president of the United States.. WTF?! (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

  10. The memory palace just seems to add more info to whatever you have to remember making it harder to remember what you wanted to know originally. don't really get the point…

  11. Yeah totally, everyone is different. I am the opposite, I can remember faces, dates and names 🙂 I wish I could remember the other stuff easily, not sure if this Memory Palace will work for me sadly.

  12. 3.14159265358979323846264338327
    I made it to 30 so far. That's just in 10 minutes. 
    I sectioned off a part of my Palace and created a chalk board, and wrote down the first 30 digits. Partly memorized them and their patterns, but I also see it on the board. Which is so cool.

  13. 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  14. i can remember 100 numbers of pi without memory palace .. i want learn this technique because if i will do it right i will be able to remember a large number of digits and other things… but i not sure if my mind will accept "crazy things" like good method for me , but i now this is supereffective technique :/

  15. @Tiger Nimer No, the Hindenburg was filled with hydrogen. Helium is a noble gas and thus, under normal circumstances not reactive. Modern zeppelins are however, filled with helium because it eliminates the possibility of combustion.  

  16. My experience of the memory palace brought me to memorizing the entire list of presidents for US history in 90 minutes and I was able to recite the entire list after the 90 minutes both forwards and backwards!!! It really works. 

  17. The memory palace is awful for things like pi. Trust me, just use raw memory for long sequences of the exact same data type (ie, numbers). You may be able to memorize things much faster with a memory palace, but you will be able to RECALL them MUCH more quickly and reliably if you just memorize them cold.

  18. The snowflake sounds interesting… How do you memorize the shape of a snowflake in a memory palace?

  19. the mind palace is an awesome way to memorize pi, you just have to break the digits into chunks and store them at each memory peg. For instance, I have my memory pegs split into groups of 7 (I find it easier to remember things in music beats, so thinks like "three-point-one-four-one-five-nine makes it more memorable, plus my memory peg is this group of numbers blasting from a cannon one by one onto my girlfriend's front door). Plus, with chunking pi into a manageable size, it's easier to store a greater amount of digits per location.

    The best part of the mind palace is that the information sticks as long as you keep visiting the mind palace. Provided that you at least run through your mind palace at least every once in a while, you'll still remember what you've encoded there. I still remember my mind palace for pi as long as several months after encoding around 70 to 80+ digits, all because I go through my palace which just so happens to be my girlfriend's place. I can even go through the numbers that I remember in reverse order, that's how well the mind palace works.

    It doesn't have to be a real place, even. It can be a path or a journey, it can be a path along your own body, it can even be a video game map or a minecraft creation. I myself have made several minecraft palaces that I have committed to memory, just empty palaces that, when needed, I can fill with the information that I need. Another palace I used was the entire map for the game The Stanley Parable. As I've played through the game multiple times, and there are endless floors, rooms, hallways, branches to travel down, and scenarios, it makes for a fun and an interesting mind palace.

    I would recommend reading books written by Ed Cooke as well as a man named Joshua Foer (author of "Moonwalking With Einstein), who is a sort of memory disciple of Cooke. Foer was a journalist who, after only a year of training, managed to win one of the biggest memory competitions in the US, beating out a bunch of other famous contenders.

    It's useful for exams as well, as I was able to memorize an entire notebook's worth of sociology notes. On my final exam, when I got to a certain question, say like: what are the three perspectives of sociology? My brain automatically jumped to the point in the mind palace where I have stored the information, our memory is that powerful.

    For all you guys who say that the memory palace isn't worth the time, trust me, it takes some getting used to, but one you have it down, you'll be memorizing things in no time flat.

    -> 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286208998628034825342117

  20. do u need to make a new memory palace for everything you want to remember?

  21. 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679
    I did this before you asked though XD

  22. I'm really fascinated by his mind palace thing, however, what I can't seem to wrap my head around is how to use the mind palace for information that really means something, and that is really useful. I'm not planning to compete in a memory competition. I would like to remember e.g. certain events in history or information about social science and the like. Things that are useful, if you know what I mean. How do I go about doing that?

  23. I Came 8 times on a Hoe 10 years older than me Never be 4 have I Own 2 of them,

    C8 H10 N4 O2

  24. My memory palace is in my wallet. A whole 32gb of data. And no larger than a simcard.

  25. I am fascinated by the memory palace and got into it years ago due to derren brown. I used to memorize cards and got quite good at it. Because i did it that much my brain automatically started processing info in that way. I remember at university i took part in many memory tests and from what i heard my scores were 'outlined' in other words they were way out of the standard deviation score in which the average participant remembered 7-10 words. I remembered about 23 and missed out on the last 2. lol This is a great technique is all i am saying. Can be a lot of fun,

  26. But how does this work with remembering multiple things? If you add a bunch of stuff to the same room won't it get mixed in your mind?

  27. When you give animals caffeine 8 crabs will fight 10 hawks which are wearing 4 pairs of nikes for the last 2 oreos.

  28. hey nice video,can we use same room again and again,can we mess things up if we do that?

  29. 3.141 592 589 793 238 462 643 383 643 502 884 197 169 399 375 105 820 974 944 592 307 876 406 286 208 998 628 034 825 342 117 067

  30. The problem with this woman's example is that, she hasn't encoded the numbers in anyway. She hasn't made it any easier to remember HOW MANY of each atom. When trying to recall information like this (probably not in this situation since it's only 4 numbers and most people wouldn't need any special memory techniques to remember them after a little basic repetition) a person who had encoded this information this way would likely ask themselves …."wait, how many hindenburgs were there? How many dancers? " So you're not really making memorizing the numbers any easier because you still have to memorize how many of each object you have.

    ^ A way to get around this would be to imagine a SINGLE hindenburg, with two huge hands coming out of each side of it. (2 hands = 10 fingers = 10 Hydrogen atoms) and this would help encode the number into your memory much better. Again, probably not necessary here since you're only remembering 4 different numbers, but with more complex things, you would probably be better off using associative numbers with your images. (6 of something = associate a dice, 9 of something = associate a cat, 2 of something = associate a siamese twin / siamese version of whatever it is, etc…)

  31. Could anyone advise on memorizing abstract contents? Does a memory palace still work as efficient?

  32. The worst way to memorize things ever. She converted the letters into images, but what about the numbers? Would be easier to learn it by heart by repetition.

  33. I'm just now getting into this but I have noticed something peculiar about memory from my own experience. I have this habit of picturing scenes from my childhood whilst in deep thought. It seems to be mostly unconscious. As opposed to the memory palace it doesn't need any conscious effort to sustain it. What's strange is whenever the subject I had invested thought into is mentioned the scene flashes in my mind. I find this peculiar and often wonder why this happens although i've never met anyone who can elucidate on it.

  34. wait, will you be able to recall the caffeine formula if someone asks you 2 years from now?

  35. 3.14159265357987323846264338327950288419716939937510582097494459230781640628

  36. I know ~130 digits of pi, but that's just from memory, no specific technique. However, I want to start practicing this technique as it looks very valuable

  37. 31415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164

  38. Hai it's such a awesome techniques that we have. But is this work when you have a bunch more topics or subjects ?

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