Human Memory

What is a Mnemonic Device: Turn Right onto the Memory Lane!

May The Force Be With You 🌌

A mnemonic device is an instrument granting access to the brain’s natural ability to encode, store, and retrieve needed information. Instruments are memory techniques a person may utilize to enable a better encoding system in the long term memory, which aids the recall of desired information.

Not a single day goes by when we do not squeeze our minds to retrieve data stored in there, somewhere, so we should make friends with mnemonic techniques that fit our needs. Whether we are scholars, working professionals, elders, children, or simply knowledge lovers. A way to easily reference and learn would be of tremendous benefit!

Even if we tend to forget where we placed our keys, which comes first - multiplication or division, the birth date of a dear person to us, and other memory-related things allow me to re-introduce some helpful pearls of memorization. Memory is a relatively newly old problem, one, we might tend to ignore, or might we say - forget. Diving into the world of memory, we can embrace that changes to the way we encode and recall information have changed. Having a smartphone cannot be the smartest thing about us, so again, let’s enable the gift of memory we all possess.

Of course, having a particular way to memorize information is fantastic - a key of sorts. The all-encompassing mnemonic technique used would be a Mind Palace. Memory or Mind Palace is a fundamental memory technique used by all World Memory Champions. World Memory Champion is not a title that can be given easily; specific disciplines as memorization of random cards within a given time, random facts to recall, recalling numbers that do not have patterns, and other feats to assess one's ability to memorize. Yes, these are not things of daily life, but World Memory Champions like Jonas von Essen, from Sweden, are true pioneers of the great unknown. Showing us, we as humans can memorize, precisely, large amounts of information in a given time. His technique of utilizing a Mind Palace - creating out of well-known environments vivid links between pieces of information and objects in his mind palace itself - for the enablement of future recall. The data stored is linked to a particular point, which is retrieved through the re-imagination of walking in specific spots of the mind palace environment. Language learning can be something stored in one's Mind Palace, for example, also, biological terms for med school, long speeches, and past conversations. Let us rephrase now, in a bit more pro-terms; these vivid links are called loci. To memorize something, Jonas mentally navigates through a path of loci to form a striking connection between the desired information and the specific loci. To retrieve the needed memories, he re-imagines walking through the particular environment of his Mind Palace. All set, you are one step closer to unraveling some fruitful mysteries of a mnemonic device that Jonas uses!

A bit more generalized approach to memory would begin reminiscent of early days in school. Some mnemonic strategies consist of acronyms, rhyme mnemonics, acrostics, and auditory sense cues. It is easy to utilize these methods in remembering the correct order of things. For example, acrostics can aid young students in remembering steps to the scientific method: “People Really Hate Elephants On Compacts Cars.” In unraveling this way, the first letter of each word they can associate the absurd phrase for what is a mnemonic device for the scientific method. Would remind them of the way to use the scientific method is: “problem, research, hypothesis, experiment, observations, conclusion, and communication (results presented).” The disadvantage here might be the lack of in-depth knowledge of the manner, and further steps will require more intricate mnemonic strategies. Undoubtedly though, apart from age relevance, encoding what is an example of a mnemonic device to recall colors of the light spectrum, would be spectacular. No worries, gimmicks in the sleeve of that mnemonic include the use of an acronym mnemonic - 1st letter of each word in an array of items, for example, ROY G. BIV equals colors of the light spectrum (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet). Remember to memorize this easy acronym, and you are walking with Isaac Newton. Another example of mnemonic strategies would be an rhyme/acronym mnemonic to aid remembering the process of actions in mathematics: “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally,” P - Parenthesis, E - Exponent, M - Multiplication, D - Division, A - Addition, and S - Subtraction.

Some rule phrases mentioned above might be silly, but on the contrary, in this case, the more silly - the better. Our brains consider this to be a signal of abnormality and find it of interest. The absurdity of what is an example of a mnemonic device will depend on our creativity. There are not any boundaries and that is the beauty of remembering things. That is why when we are young, first epic movie scenes are easily remembered; our emotions dictate to our brains a form of reality. If we choose to perceive the occurrences experienced as real life, we encode the memory associated with the ‘different’ event. Different is out of the ordinary that our brains encode as important. An impulse is sent through our nervous system, and the encoding takes place. These memories can be fun things where our imagination will help us remember select dates. For example, May Fourth is a day all Star Wars fans celebrate. This day sounds like “may force” - in Star Wars, characters say to each other: “May The Force Be With You.” So do not forget all of your friends of the force and message them a May Fourth salute: “May The Force Be With You!” Fellow memory Jedi’s do not fall back to barriers but use them to enable awesome strategies to remember simple things like where you left your keys, important dates, and other simple things to start with. Necessarily, choose something that can merge with life gradually, and you can go in any direction in aiding with enabling a better memory; but remember Never, Eat, Sour, Wheat - North, East, South, West.

Alex Ruzhytskyi

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