BUILDYOURMEMORY.COM / A mnemonics and memory improvement resource
Mnemonics and memory / Build Your Memory
roman room statue

How memory operates
Why we forget
Observation and memory
Using mnemonics to link together memories
Mnemonics to master a foreign language
Mnemonics to remember numbers - The number/rhyme system
Mnemonics to remember your dreams
Advanced number mnemonics - Pegging
Mnemonics for quotations
Mnemonics to remember abstract symbols and letters
The Roman Room or journey system
Mnemonics to remember names and faces
Mnemonics for rememberring appointments - The Mental Diary
How to combine the systems - The Mental Database


How to Link together Memories

It is a fact that we all retain far more of the information that we are exposed to than we are able to easily access. This has been proven time and again through the use of such techniques as hypnosis, which has on many occasions been used to bring forth memories that the subject cannot access when conscious.

For example, as you are no doubt aware the police have on occasion used hypnosis to enable a witness to a crime to recall the registration number of a car that they did see, but cannot ‘consciously’ remember.
The reason for this lack of recall is that our memories are not always stored in an ordered fashion. This means that when we attempt to retrieve them, we don’t always know where to look.

The purpose of this section of the site is to improve the reader’s ability to memorise - in the correct order - any given list that you put your mind to, by up to 1000%.
This may sound to you like a pretty bold claim for me to be making. But I assure you that after reading through the rest of this section of the site, and after mastering the system of ‘Linking’ that I shall shortly endeavour to explain, you will soon find that you have accomplished this seemingly amazing feat. This will be done with an ease that you will no doubt find pleasantly surprising.

All of this is facilitated by using the mnemonic system known as Linking. I will now proceed to explain the details of this technique.

How Linking works

Human memory operates by associating, or linking, one piece of information with another. The great Greek philosophers first understood this linking of one memory to another, many centuries before the dawn of the modern age.

Such knowledge has been put to great use by a large number of researchers in the field of memory improvement ever since. Not to mention by a great many magicians! An example of the principle of memory association was given in the how your memory operates, when the analogy was put forward of an individual upon hearing a particular song, recalling memories or events that were in their mind linked in some way to that song.

For example, when an individual hears a familiar tune, they may recall the face of someone that they were with when they first heard it. Or alternatively, the song may bring back the memory of an important event that took place in their life. Perhaps whilst that piece of music was playing high in the charts. It may even simply take the person back to a general period of their life. Such as their teens.

This phenomenon of memory association (or linking) is very important indeed, and when it is performed ‘consciously,’ it can greatly improve an individual’s capacity for recollection. I will now prove the truth of these words, with the aid of a little test. A test that should help to prove to you, the vast difference in capacity between a trained memory and an untrained one.

List number one

1) Cat8)  Swan15) Umberela
2) Apple 9)  Pipe16) Bird
3) Shoe 10) Sword17) Comb
4) Tie11) Horse18) Sea
5) Book12) Pan19) Sun
6) Fish13) Bread20) Camera
7) Television14) Trousers

Now if you would like to indulge me for a little while. What I would like you to do, is to read through the above list of words - just once, concentrating on each word as you do so. Then I would like you to cover it up with a piece of paper and then try to reproduce the entire list in the correct order, in the space provided below. Only when you have completed this task, continue reading.

Go on. Humour me. It will pass a bit of time!

Test Number One

1) 8)  15)
2) 9)  16)
3) 10) 17)
4) 11) 18)
5) 12) 19)
6) 13) 20)
7) 14)

How did you do? Not to good heh! Well try not to let it get you down to much. Because the truth of the matter is that most of the people who are in possession of an untrained memory, would be hard pressed to recall more than half of such a list, after only one reading. Also the words that they did succeed in recalling would probably be in the wrong order. That’s just one of the drawbacks of having an untrained memory.

I will now explain to you how you can memorise a list such as the one shown above, totally and in the correct order, after reading through it only once.

How to link consciously

Imagine that for some reason you wanted to memorise the first five words of the above list. These words are – cat, apple, shoe, tie and book.

Now the first thing that I would like you to do, is to try to form a picture in your minds eye, that links the first word ‘cat’ to the second word ‘apple,’ in an imaginative and thus memorable way. For example you might try picturing a large cat, sinking its teeth into a big, green, juicy apple.

Now if you close your eyes, and for one moment really endeavour to visualise this image, being sure to make it as vivid as you possibly can. Also trying to see with your minds eye, the colours of the cat and of the apple. Then you should find that it is next to impossible for you to forget that the first two words of the above list are cat and apple.

Cat eating apple


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