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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm curious to know what kind of memory or mnemonic technique(s) people use to help them remember and retain information. Personally I don't use any technique(s). Actually I got the idea for this thread because I noticed I tend to encode information poorly.

So, what kind of "techniques" do you use?

Additional questions: How did you learn to use these techniques? Were you taught by someone/did you teach yourself or was it an "innate" skill you just happened to pick up? What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn how to use mnemonic techniques to help them retain information from reading books?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
From the lack of responses and views I'm assuming people don't use memory/mnemonic techniques to help them retain information?
Interesting.

*Bump*
 

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Visual and narrative chunking. If its just a set of facts, then I aim to establish relations between them to form chunks (even if they're non-nonsensical): e.g.

ball, hat, smelly, coffee, jump, caprice, compute, cabinet, hopscotch, calcify, amorous, read, polynomial, feast, leafy, stretch, turd, magic, cough, beat =>
[Ball in a hat floating in smelly coffee jumped], [With caprice, he computed a cabinet using hopscotch], [Calcified lovers in amorous repose read polynomials], [A feast of leafy turd stretched with magic], [Rapper coughs some beats]

If we're talking about abstractions and relations say in mathematics, then I do the opposite and force relations between objects in a way that the objects derive the relations. I aim for pithy + discriminative: e.g.

Properties of a field can be captured / derived from two overlapping similar triangles formed by vectors. Formal definition of continuity at say point c has the function defined within a shrinking positive y-gap centered about c always be contained within some positive x-gap centered about c. Cognitive function "hatred" follows attitude-type and then function type which is captured by an orbital model, e.g. center(Ni)-Si-Ne-afar(Se) where Ni-Si orbit a close perimeter of introversion and so would repel each other more than say Ni-Se (which is why these two can reach consciousness).

Note that all of this requires conscious effort. Usually, information presented in texts or lectures are standardized and verbal which does my memory no good. I'd much rather read the book and rebuild the information in my mind's eye so that they get internalized.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Visual and narrative chunking. If its just a set of facts, then I aim to establish relations between them to form chunks (even if they're non-nonsensical): e.g.

ball, hat, smelly, coffee, jump, caprice, compute, cabinet, hopscotch, calcify, amorous, read, polynomial, feast, leafy, stretch, turd, magic, cough, beat =>
[Ball in a hat floating in smelly coffee jumped], [With caprice, he computed a cabinet using hopscotch], [Calcified lovers in amorous repose read polynomials], [A feast of leafy turd stretched with magic], [Rapper coughs some beats]

If we're talking about abstractions and relations say in mathematics, then I do the opposite and force relations between objects in a way that the objects derive the relations. I aim for pithy + discriminative: e.g.

Properties of a field can be captured / derived from two overlapping similar triangles formed by vectors. Formal definition of continuity at say point c has the function defined within a shrinking positive y-gap centered about c always be contained within some positive x-gap centered about c. Cognitive function "hatred" follows attitude-type and then function type which is captured by an orbital model, e.g. center(Ni)-Si-Ne-afar(Se) where Ni-Si orbit a close perimeter of introversion and so would repel each other more than say Ni-Se (which is why these two can reach consciousness).

Note that all of this requires conscious effort. Usually, information presented in texts or lectures are standardized and verbal which does my memory no good. I'd much rather read the book and rebuild the information in my mind's eye so that they get internalized.
Thanks for sharing.

I have a few questions regarding your post: How did you learn to use these techniques? Were you taught by someone/did you teach yourself or was it an "innate" skill you just happened to pick up? What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn how to use mnemonic techniques to help them retain information from reading books? And what did you mean when you said you rebuild the information in your mind's eye, could you explain?
 

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@FiNe SiTe

It's due to a visual learning style which didn't click well with the education style of old. I either had to take copious notes and rebuild the knowledge on my own or during college skip class and learn from a book. And by rebuilding information, I mean to reinterpret information in a visual manner that is suited for association. e.g. during a test, a "normal" way is to recall fact or apply knowledge directly from the source (the lecture's words or a passage from text) or from first-hand practice. An alternative way is to turn the knowledge into a subjective equivalence, e.g. equation -> graph, the word juxtapose -> a clip of an auctioning event, biological process -> some type of visual diagram with arrows and such. And since we aim to build subjective models of understanding, the only way is through personal experimentation to see what evokes a strong response, what is fluent, and the tradeoff between the two is for you.
 

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I know I have a lot of stuff remembered by using some technique or other and I'll be stuffed if I can think of any good ones right now (been a long day) beyond the classic: "righty-tighty/lefty-loosey" which incorporates rhyme and alliteration in one go, two very useful techniques.

I also tend to use the alphabet so that I know the difference between stalagmites and stalactites without needing to think about it: the one with the "g" in it is the one on the "g"round and the one with the "c" in it hangs from the "c"eiling. And acronyms... the more the better for me because it's easy to recall the Great Lakes names by remembering HOMES.


The chunking technique mentioned earlier is something I've learned to do rather recently (wish I had known that one a long time ago) and I've found that the more nonsensical it is, the easier it is to remember what I need to, though I've not tried it on anything long-term beyond remembering what I would need to get from the store.

Basically, I always try to create some kind of structure, correlation or commonality between the things I need to remember (and to keep it simple so that I can remember how to remember something). :tongue:
 
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I find that visual associations work best for me, but some people prefer to associate sounds, smells, etc. It's all a matter of finding what things stimulate your memories (colors, patterns) and drilling them into your head every time you want to remember something. Pick up milk at the grocery store - think about the color, smell, taste and shape of the milk. Think about the "mm" sound. Think about your friends who have names that start with "M" or end in "K," whichever works best. Hum a song to yourself on the way to the store that has something to do with milk. Whichever you choose, you have to consciously try to perform this associative task with everything you want to remember. Eventually, after much practice, it will become so natural that you don't even realize you're doing it. That's when it becomes unconscious, which is the natural state of associative memory.

There are plenty of memory games you can play to train your brain to associate things more easily. You can stare at a series of objects, close your eyes and try to remember them all. Use as many or as few mnemonic devices as you need. Try to remember what you ate for dinner a few days or weeks ago by associating sounds, smells, etc and mentally mapping out what happened that week. The goal is to teach your brain to make more connections between past and present events.

All of these things I learned via research - either by reading books or researching things on the internet. A year ago, I had such a terrible memory that I could not remember what I'd had for breakfast by the time I ate lunch, the last names of most of my friends, whether I'd taken the trash out, where my purse was... anything. I started looking up mnemonic devices and practicing these techniques, and have found an incredible improvement in my memory and the ease of daily life. I highly recommend checking out this site, which has a lot of free "brain games" that help improve your memory, among other things. Good luck improving your knowledge! :)
 
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