TheArt of Memory
In the age before books and tablets, orators stored texts in lees reliable devices: their minds. To boost his memory capacity, Roman philosopher Cicero used tricks called mnemonics to bind his words to vivid mental images, “as if 1inscribing letters into wax.”
Such ancient techniques may no longer be needed, but this month they’ll take center stage when some 50 “mental athletes” go head-to-head in the 15thUSA Memory Championship in New York City. Their minds aren’t photographic, even memory experts need a 2coding system to remember strings of words, numbers, names, or 3playing cards. The key is 4training – 12 hundreds of hours of it. And speed. 5Linking items to celebrities is common practice because they’re easy to visualize. However, “an emotional tie makes the image louder” says last year’s champ. Nelson DeIlis. When creating his mnemonic cede for cards, he passed on a popular heartthrob for the king of hearts. “Brad Pitt had to think about. But my dad – I can picture him in an instant”.
Oliver Uberti, National Geographic, March 2012
The group of words from text which is made up of the words “INSCRIBING” (ref. 1) “CODING” (ref. 2), “PLAYING” (ref. 3), “TRAINING” (ref. 4) and “LINKING” (ref. 5) includes
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