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Memory Boosting With Memory Palaces

Updated on October 19, 2011

Memory Palace

Stored Memories

Spatial Map of the Brain

Spatial memory map of the brain.
Spatial memory map of the brain. | Source

More on Memory Palaces

The Method of Loci

The method of loci is a mnemonic (mental) device used in ancient Rome. The practice of mental palaces rely on memorized spatial relationships. It is used to establish order to recollect memories and their content. The way mental palaces work is by using the part of the brain that focuses on location and details. By using this part of your mental memory matrix you can use the locational or spatial part of the brain to remember people, places, events, and other memories. You can store them like files within the spatial memory part of the brain. A memory palace can be your home, a building you are familiar with, a mental library, or like it says a palace with many rooms filled with many different memories.

This process is called a mental walk. It is a method of memory enhancement that uses visualization to recall and organize the information. Many memory contest winners use memory palaces to recall facts, numbers, and important lists. This method of recall is not a sign of intelligence but is a technique which uses regions of the brain that are reserved for spatial learning. The parts of the brain that are used in this process are the medial parietal cortex, the retrosplenial cortex, and the posterior hippocampus.

While doing the mental walk you remember lists by mentally traveling a familiar path and associating objects with landmarks on your walk. Its like remembering your grocery list while taking a mental walk form your bedroom to your living-room in your home. Say your first item is milk; mentally place milk beside your bed in your bedroom, then the second item is cheese so you place cheese on the floor in the hall. Now as you take that mental walk through your home you can associate the list with the spatial part of your memory. This is what a memory palace is.


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