Sven Magnus Carlsen, Derren Brown and Dominic O’Brien; you’ve heard their names, they’ve blown your mind, but can’t you remember who they are? What special traits do these three share in common? Well for a start they all have brilliant memories…
Derren Brown, Channel 4 celebrity, has made himself a household name by mastering Mnemonic mind techniques and utilising his memory skills for entertainment purposes. This charismatic trickster uses his skills to debunk myths and perform apparently impossible feats of intellect. Notable examples include: playing 9 chess players simultaneously (playing their moves against each other), memorizing lists of over 100 items and an unending supply of card tricks.
Sven Magnus Carlsen, at the tender age of just thirteen became the world’s second youngest Chess Grandmaster and is currently ranked as the world’s No. 1. Carlsen however has no special remedy or recommended memory technique (aside from being a chess prodigy).
Dominic O’Brien however has also made advancements in the world of Mnemonics and memory techniques – through hard work and adherence to strict repetition and revision. To back up his theories he is an eight-time world memory champion.
Taking the First Steps – Road to Mnemonics
Mnemonics is an ancient field of study, with the exception of historical writings from such figures as Plato and Cicero, little is known about the art of memory before its practice in the Thirteenth Century. It is believed that it was commonly used by ancient Romans and Greeks as a form of data retention and as such is a powerful aid for revision and learning.
On a large scale Mnemonic learning requires olfactory responses, a little creativity and a lot of patience. On the other end of the spectrum your memory quadrants, the places in your mind you ‘store’ these memories are relatively small. Mind palaces; indicative of the Loci style of mnemonic techniques serve to store many unrelated memories in a simple fashion.
Memories of the Future
The art of memorizing information or data has come a long way since the days of the Pantheon. Neuro Linguistic Programming, or NLP, brainchild of Richard Bandler and John Grinder empowers the user; teaching them to control their negative thoughts and emotions, increasing their cognitive awareness and allowing them to communicate effectively with those around them.
Another contemporary mind technique, Time Line Therapy®, advances the basic principles of NLP; providing tools for the individual to exercise complete self-control. By circumventing any self-doubt (i.e. I can’t, I won’t, I don’t) and controlling negative emotions and emotional strain Time Line Therapy can easily help you lose weight, gain confidence or help you make that push for the career you always wanted. You can find out more about Time Line Therapy® at the above link.
Brain Training – it never stops!
Since the release of Doctor Kawaskima’s Brain training for Nintendo DS the interactive market has been flooded with a number of games intended to increase or accelerate a players’ cognitive reasoning and keeps the brain (a muscle) in good working order. Following this success the BBC conducted a country wide experiment to see how effective brain training really is. If you would like to view the results for yourself, train your brain on the BBC website or just want to find out more click here.
If you’re interested in training your brain further you can follow the above links to find out more about NLP, Mnemonics and Time Line Therapy®.
Robert Clark is a keen gamer and has learned Mnemonics himself, if only to impress young women at parties. He is writing on behalf of Performance Partnership and is well on the way to memorizing his list of 100.