The following content was retrieved from the exceptional TED video featuring Joshua Foer.
Certain people can quickly memorise lists of thousands of numbers, the order of all the cards in a deck, and much more. During a TED talk, science writer Joshua Foer described a technique called the “memory palace”, and revealed that anyone in the world can learn how to use it.
Memory is a muscle, meaning it requires exercise and training, and in the great tradition of human competitiveness, that also means it can be made into a sport. The result is a global championship, where “memory athletes” compete by remembering lists of words, binary code, decimals of pi, and so on. The last World Championship of Memory was held in December 2016 in Singapore.
Where does the talent of super-memory champions hail from?
There are people capable of remembering practically every event they have witnessed during their lives. However, participants in these Memory Championships - “cerebral sportsmen”, if you will - do not fall into that category. On the contrary, most of them claim to have been born with perfectly average mental faculties.
Their ability is, therefore, the result of a method.
That method is commonly referred to as the “memory palace” and relies on our exceptional visual and spacial memories. The idea is to take information lacking in context, significance, and meaning, and transforming it into something that makes sense in the light of all the other things pr in your mind.
Intrigued? Watch the video below to learn more from Joshua himself!