The Method of Loci as a Depression Treatment

I came across an interesting study about researchers who tried using a memory technique called the method of loci to help subjects counter depression.

Depressed people tend to recall negative memories more than positive ones, so the researchers asked people to place positive memories into memory palaces. On a surprise test a week later, the newly-trained mnemonists were able to recall the positive memories, while the other group had more trouble with the recall.

Here’s the abstract: Read more

Links About the Brain: Music and Meditation (and an update)

Sorry for the lack of blog posting recently. I’m working out my plans for the future, which is a time-consuming process.

The Future

I’m in the Cyclades at the moment and am looking online for a job. I’m going to close my current business down and work for another company. If anyone knows of any job availabilities in the memory field, please let me know.

Otherwise, I will take a regular, full-time job in the hostel industry that leaves me enough time in the day to train on memory. With my current business taking up 10 to 16 hours per day, I don’t have enough free time to seriously train.

Cycladian village

Cycladian village, Greece

If no job opportunities appear right away, I may go up to Albania or Macedonia for a few weeks. Read more

Stream Capture: Taking Control of Thought Triggers with Visualization Techniques

My post yesterday was about how I think about mnemonic images. The purpose of that post was to lead into this one which goes more into my thoughts on using mnemonic visualization techniques to modify thought habits.

I previously wrote about my technique on how I change a number’s image and the psychological effect of memory techniques, and how I assign temporary names to unknown objects and ideas in order to remember them. This post expands on that idea with illustrations. Read more

Thought “Triggers”, “Streams”, and “Deltas”

As I mentioned in another post, when I don’t know the name for something, I make up a temporary name for it. Language makes ideas easier to remember and manipulate.

The purpose of this post is just to share how I visualize the process of creating mnemonic images.

I’m sure all of these concepts have real names, so If someone has a background in psychology and knows a better way to describe these ideas, please post a comment. Read more

Meditation and Memory

The New York Times has an interesting article about how meditation may change the brain.

The researchers report that those who meditated for about 30 minutes a day for eight weeks had measurable changes in gray-matter density in parts of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress…

M.R.I. brain scans taken before and after the participants’ meditation regimen found increased gray matter in the hippocampus, an area important for learning and memory. The images also showed a reduction of gray matter in the amygdala, a region connected to anxiety and stress. A control group that did not practice meditation showed no such changes.

The hippocampus is involved in the formation of new memories, and has to do with spatial memory which is what many memory techniques depend on. Read more

Thoughts on Phonetic Systems and Memory Techniques as an Artificial Language

When I was deciding on what memory system to use, I tried to think about all the steps that the brain goes through when memorizing, and how to make it as efficient as possible.  This post describes some of the things I’ve been experimenting with over last summer, and why I keep my system strictly phonetic.

I’m not saying that this is the way things should be done.  I haven’t finished my system yet, so I am just thinking out loud (as usual). I’m having fun experimenting, and I don’t think that there will be any detrimental effect to my memory system if I turn out to be wrong, other than that generating the system is taking a longer time than it would otherwise. Read more

The Psychological Effect of Memory Techniques

I’ve wondered if there is potential with these memory techniques to change ways of thinking. Last winter, I noticed that I constantly had a certain negative thought out of habit. I made a conscious effort to modify the image to change its meaning to something ridiculous every time the thought appeared. The technique gradually worked to get rid of that negative thought. (Something like this technique I’ve been using to modify images.) Read more