:: urbansheep (urbansheep) wrote,
:: urbansheep

[ L ] Многопроходная индексация применительно к памяти


Ancient technique

In fact, Andi's method is not new. It is a variation on the so-called "Method of Loci" first described by the Greek scholar Simonides in 500BC. He was the first to realise that you could hugely boost your memory power by using a well-known location - in Simonides' case a familiar room - to place things you wished to remember. The reason the method works is because of what's happening at the tiniest level in your brain.

The building blocks of the brain are cells, called neurons. In each of our brains there are an astonishing 100 billion of them, connected in a massive network. When we commit something to memory we establish a pathway through this network to wherever that memory is stored in the brain. But the trouble with creating a single pathway is that if - for whatever reason - it gets broken then that memory cannot be recalled.

Many pathways

And that's why the Method of Loci is so successful. It creates not one pathway through our neural network, but many such pathways. If one pathway gets broken, there's always another to take its place. A familiar location, for instance, will be known to us visually - by our memory of what it looks like. But we might also have a neural pathway in our brain which represents the location's smell, or a pathway which represents memories of an experience we have had there. If we can "tag" new pieces of information to these locations, which already come with so many well-established pathways, it becomes very hard to forget them.


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