Names and faces

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#1 31 December, 2016 - 05:19
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Names and faces


I need to work on names and faces. It's a running joke in competitions that I get terrible scores in that event, and it's high time I did something about it. Starting from scratch, please could someone talk me through, at the very basic level, the system you use for names and faces, for example on Memory League? Thanks!

1 January, 2017 - 05:01
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Joined: 10 months 3 weeks ago

Hi Ben,
Although I am not a memory champion like you, Commenting on your question would be just like showing a torch to THE SUN.
But still, my suggestion would be.
Whenever you see a person,try to think of someone who reminds you of that person... Then link his name with a Wired Character on His Face.
Like, when someone's name is Jacob,and he has a long nose, Then think of Jack OB jecting someone Under his nose and you would get the clue..
Hope it Helps.
Please reply if it Helped....
Thanks!

1 January, 2017 - 06:08
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Thanks! And yes, it's a definite help - anybody else reading this should bear in mind that you're almost certainly better than me at names and faces, so don't be afraid to comment!

1 January, 2017 - 08:30
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Joined: 10 months 3 weeks ago

Thanks Ben for your kind words,
I am just a beginner to This world of Memory and I am here to learn from Peoples like You....
I feel very happy to learn that it Helped you, It is a very big compliment for me..I would cherish Forever...
And moreover WISHING YOU A very" HAPPY NEW YEAR" may this year bring joy, happiness, love, prosperity in your life...
Thank you Ben
(Always in your service)
Regards

1 January, 2017 - 11:41
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Hi Zoomy. Do you struggle with prosopagnosia/face blindness?

1 January, 2017 - 14:34
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Hey Ben,

There are two ways that people go through the faces: 1. they go through the names only one time but take more time or 2. They go through the faces twice.

How do you usually go through the faces?

1 January, 2017 - 16:52
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I've been convinced to give competition a go and so very new at this game although I use memory palaces and other techniques a lot in other aspects of life.

I just want to comment here to follow in the hope that lots of advice gets posted!

2 January, 2017 - 00:43
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Prosopagnosia is a word I've never heard before, so I'm going to say no to that. I think generally speaking I don't look at people's faces in everyday life, so I'm not in the habit of noticing details, but really, not being good at this discipline is probably more of a mental block than anything else. Johnny, with other disciplines I tend to go through everything quickly and multiple times; possibly going through faces more slowly and just the once would help me? But the time it takes to think about and visualise them thoroughly seems too much to do 20+ names in a minute...

2 January, 2017 - 05:08
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Names and faces to me, are two parts that I mostly took from Ron White for inspiration. Take a part of their face that stands out, which can literally be anything. A tall forehead, bright blue eyes, a haircut that stands out, a classy mustache, a flower in the hair, make-up applied like plaster, anything. That feat I exaggerate, together with other feats that stand out, creating a sort of caricature of the face. Then I attach the name in the form of an image to that in any way I can think of.

Most of the names got images that make sense in dutch as that is my native language, so bear with me for the example :P
Paul, to me is a peacock ('pauw' in dutch). Sarah is an old lady. Linda is a ribbon ('Lint in dutch). To get some things in english from the top of my head, Doug could be a dog, Rob could be a Robber, with Robert being those two burglars from Home Alone. Does Paul have a big nose? I'd imagine the guy being attacked by a peacock, causing his nose to swell up. Sarah has a top knot bun on the very top of her head and bright yellow glasses, I'd see an old granny with a very large top knot bun on her head and bright yellow glasses that you'd imagine would only be worn by clowns.The list of names I add over time, whenever I hear a name I don't have in the system yet, I hear it.
Should you need a place to start with names, just watch Ron White's performance on youtube, he comes with a shitload of names.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2GI0huaV5s

Sometimes I don't see much about the face, nothing stand out, but I do get the feeling that the lady would be wearing a colorful flower dress, then that becomes the feat I exaggerate. I see the face, add a body with a dress, add the name.

In real life, I like names and faces way more, as you can literally take anything that stands out and even add things to your image over time. I once met a girl, lets call her Anne just to not name her here, the image for which is a diary. She had a bright blue part in her hair, which really caught attention. So I saw her reading through a diary, using the bright blue hair as arms to hold the thing and move through the pages. During the conversation, I could add things to the image, and so remember more about her after talking.
The real life things does require some practice, as your conscious mind needs to focus on the conversation while the rest adds things to the imagevery quickly and nearly automatically.

2 January, 2017 - 17:06
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I can share my experience of this subject with you.

prosopagnosia/face blindness. Sort of, probably. I was unable to remember a face or a name without great efforts.

I can have an excellent 'datas' memory, but faces ...

I began to learn how to draw faces to be able to describe them, to 'feel' how to categorize them. So i rapidly began to be able 'see' them'.

That was the first part of my reeducation. Round face, square face, big forhead, long chin, thin lips etc

Of course, it wasn't enough, but i wasn't 'blind' anymore. I have reeducated my brain to percieve faces.

(The trick. don't try to memoririze all the traits of the face. Find one thing wich is characteritic of its face. Haircut, funny trait etc. Even if he/she change, you'll still have a 'link' to its ancient trait.

Secondly, if you never have been able to see faces (or if for some reasons you are very bad at it) you HAVE to built a habbit, a mechanism and a place to store them. Because you haven't such things.

As an exercice, try to categorize each peopel you can remember, with their full name, a description, the place you met them, their favorite subjetc etc.
Few but crucial informations.

Don't do it all at once. Five a day, maybe. Just do it seriously, because you are building a new accessible file in your mind.

Then, beguin to add new people you just met on you list. Find 10 minutes at the end of your day to note about 2-3 peoples. Short description. Principal trait. Where do you meet them? What is their name ? What does there name evoke for you ? (it helps to fix it in long term memory ) etc

Sure, at first, you won't remember much. Their trait are vague, you forget their name etc.

But it's not a big deal. You can't change your (absent memory) of faces and names in one night.

The neuroplasticity of your brain will create in a few weeks the Tools you need to do it easily. It's just a matter of practice. Pay attention the next time, and the next, and the next...

Note: if you don't meet enough people, you can use your Tv, get an unkniwn actor, make some quick research, then add him to your list. It's not as usefull as meeting people, but it's a good short term training solution.

In a nutshell: feed your hability to memorize faces and names, and it will reward you.

PS: Don't forget to study your list from time to time, to fix it's terms and members in your LT memory,

5 January, 2017 - 05:13
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Thank you Mayarra and Venant - these responses are hugely helpful.

5 January, 2017 - 16:18
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Quote:
Names and faces to me, are two parts that I mostly took from Ron White for inspiration. Take a part of their face that stands out, which can literally be anything. A tall forehead, bright blue eyes, a haircut that stands out, a classy mustache, a flower in the hair, make-up applied like plaster, anything. That feat I exaggerate, together with other feats that stand out, creating a sort of caricature of the face. Then I attach the name in the form of an image to that in any way I can think of.

I can remember names in real life when using memory techniques, but I have trouble in some situations where I see someone out of context after not seeing them for a while. Many faces look the same to me, unless something really stands out.

I've used these examples in another post -- I can usually tell the difference if they are next to each other, but if I see only one of them, it's difficult for me to tell the difference. (Just between the people on the same rows.) For a photograph, I could turn a hair curl into an alien tentacle, and some airbrushed cheeks into a painted t-shirt, but outside of certain contexts, it's very difficult.

Example

I previously experimented with a system to turn faces into named geometric shapes that would each have a mnemonic image, but I didn't complete it. I used to practice that by glancing at faces as I walked down the street and then closing my eyes, trying to hold the impression in my mind for a few seconds while examining the shapes.

I'd still like to finish that idea. For example, create 3-10 types for each of these categories:

  • Hair
  • Forehead
  • Eyebrows
  • Eye shape
  • Nose
  • Cheeks
  • Jawline
  • Mouth
  • Ears
  • Complexion

Things like cheeks and jawline might be images based on geometric shapes. Ears might be a position (high, medium, low) and size (small, medium, large). Etc.

Even with a system like that, I'd probably still get similar people like the ones in the example image above confused on a regular basis. The shapes are very close...

6 January, 2017 - 15:22
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Nelson just uploaded magnificent video on names and faces on his youtube chanel. He goes in details.

6 January, 2017 - 15:53
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Joined: 9 months 3 weeks ago

Can we have link, please ?

6 January, 2017 - 15:54
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Joined: 11 months 5 days ago

6 January, 2017 - 22:05
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Mayarra i was wondering do you ever try and compare the person to a person you know with the similar name? or do you ever take the person you know with a similar name and have them talking to the person you are trying to remember . If you can not find a person with a similar name then making a word to represent the name you are trying to remember. I think for me the sooner i can get a mental representation of the name i am trying to remember the sooner i can attach it to the face i am trying to remember. I can use the face alone or i can use prominent features on the face or a " caricature face" . Seems when i recall a person it is always in caricature form anyway .

7 January, 2017 - 05:03
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Joined: 2 years 5 months ago

Quote:
I've used these examples in another post -- I can usually tell the difference if they are next to each other, but if I see only one of them, it's difficult for me to tell the difference. (Just between the people on the same rows.) For a photograph, I could turn a hair curl into an alien tentacle, and some airbrushed cheeks into a painted t-shirt, but outside of certain contexts, it's very difficult.

pics

I can imagine that it can be difficult, the way I work around it is by grabbing mutliple things, two or three most of the time. Like the parted hair and cheekbones, the twirl of hair and shape of the head (which strikes me a bit), the pointy eyebrows, narrow nose and whatever seems to be a bit of a weird hairline (which might be a photoshop thing), those huge laughing lines, blocky forehead and downward pointing eyes, and the cartoonishly arched eyes, sides of the mouth pointing up a bit and hairline.
Those aspects I then use to turn the face into a caricature image, which I combine with the name. That works very well (for me) also outside of pictures, and it also forces me to take a more focussed look at their face and name, which always helps with remembering.

But I must admit, if the face changes or when faces look alike a real lot, it could get tough, which is what I think you meant with context (correct me if I am wrong). And with make-up, the face changes, a lot. But I can't think of a system that eliminates that. the picture of Winona Ryder (if I am right about her being the middle one) is one of few where I have some trouble recognizing her, as what usually strikes me the first are her huge eyes. The left and right images are actually very odd to me, as they both have completly different markers used to memorize them. But I actually think they are both the same girl. I first thought left was Kiera Knightley, and right was Natalie Portman, but what felt off to me were the forehead (Portman has quite the large forehead) and the chin (less pointy than I see in the usual images of Portman). After looking at both more critically for a second, I'd say they are both Kiera Knightley.
As for the men, I feel like you went for the Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon comparisons, though I will admit that I am having a tough time fully recognizing Matt Damon in the right one. Part of me says yes, part of me says no.

Recognizing and categorizing moving faces is a lot easier, mainly because I do actually have a system for categorizing the movement of the face. Called the Facial Action Coding System, it is made by Paul Ekman to turn observable facial actions into categorized measurements. Which I have turned into a mnemonic system as well, which is fun to use in real life but can actually be a bit confusing with pictures, as there is no baseline face to start the measurements. (and I do not have time yet to find a way to make it work :P)

Quote:
Mayarra i was wondering do you ever try and compare the person to a person you know with the similar name? or do you ever take the person you know with a similar name and have them talking to the person you are trying to remember.

rarely, I always prefer to just stick with one face in the image, as I noticed that it keeps the image more contained and makes the image more memorable.

8 January, 2017 - 02:38
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Quote:
Mayarra i was wondering do you ever try and compare the person to a person you know with the similar name? or do you ever take the person you know with a similar name and have them talking to the person you are trying to remember.

Maybe you should try several options and test what works best for you ?

The only important thing is

1. to work regulary (to make your brain develop the 'links' and 'files' (neural connections made by the regular efforts- neuroplasticity)

2. To do engh try and miss to notice what work best for you (are you a 'detail' person or a 'that remebers me somebody person').

The memory work gives you some liberties, but it take time and work to develop. Even if it's results seems sometimes magical, it's basically hard/regular work.
Some are naturally gifted, but for the rest of us... it's like fitness.

20 January, 2017 - 19:17
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Joined: 4 years 5 months ago

Thank you! Especially for Nelson's video link, but for all the comments as well.

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