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the complete visual program

More than
200 exercises,
strategies, and
tips to boost
your memory

Dr. Pascale Michelon

the complete visual program
the complete visual program
Dr. Pascale Michelon


Illustrator Keith Hagan at
Project editor Suhel Ahmed
Project art editor Charlotte Seymour
Designer Nicola Erdpresser HOW TO USE THIS BOOK 6
Editor Angela Baynham
Assistant to illustrator Sarah Holland
Senior production editor Jennifer Murray
Production editor Marc Staples What is memory? 10
US editor Jill Hamilton Does memory work automatically? 12
Production controller Alice Holloway Where in the brain do you keep your 14
Creative technical support Sonia Charbonnier memories?
Managing editors Penny Warren and Penny Smith
Why do we forget? 16
Managing art editor Marianne Markham
Exercises to show why we forget 18
Art director Peter Luff
Catergory publisher Peggy Vance Can you improve your memory? 20
Your plastic brain 22
First American edition, 2012 Finding your way around an urban jungle 24
Published in the United States by
DK Publishing, 375 Hudson Street Check-out 26
New York, NY 10014

12 13 14 15 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
001182627Jan/2012 30
Copyright 2012
Check-in: how well do you remember the very
Dorling Kindersley Limited recent past?
All rights reserved. What is short-term memory? 34
Without limiting the rights reserved under copyright above, no Visual short-term memory 36
part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or Working memory 38
introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, 40
or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
Super technique: be attentive to boost your
recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission working memory
of both the copyright owner and the publisher of this book. Exercises to test your concentration 42
Check-out: exercise your short-term memory 44
Published in Great Britain by Dorling Kindersley Limited.

A CIP catalog record for this book is available from the

Library of Congress.
ISBN 978-0-7566-8965-0
Check-in: how well do you remember the past? 54
Printed and bound in Singapore by Tien Wah Press What is long-term memory? 58
Why do you never forget how to ride a bike? 60
Discover more at 62
Super technique: how to boost your memory
of past events?
DK books are available at special Create personal meaning 64
discounts when purchased in Does learning by rote work? 66
bulk for sales promotions,
premiums, fund-raising, or Check-out: exercise your long-term memory 68
educational use. For details,
contact: DK Publishing Special
Markets, 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014
ON YOUR MIND (IMAGINATION Check-in: do you have a head for storing numbers? 148
AND MEMORY) The beauty of chunking 152
Check-in: whats your imagination like? 78 Super technique: the Number-Association System 154
How does visualization boost memory? 82 Practice using the Number-Association System 156
How do special moments stick in your mind? 84 Check-out: exercise your memory for numbers 158
Why cant you get that song out of your head? 86
Super technique: the Link System 88 8 OPTIMIZING YOUR BODY AND 164
Practice using the Link System 90 MIND (HEALTH AND MEMORY)
Super technique: the Journey Method 92 Its not what it once was! Does age affect memory? 166
Practice using the Journey Method 94 Im losing my mind! How to manage stress 168
Check-out: exercise your imagination for 96 De-stress with yoga 170
a better memory The importance of sleep 172
Foods to sharpen your thinking 174
5 CREATING AN ORDERLY CABINET 104 Exercise to jog the memory 176
Check-in: how organized is your mind? 106 SOLUTIONS 180
Why keeping an orderly mind boosts your 110 RESOURCES 186
memory 188
Ordering information 112
Super technique: the Peg System 114
Practice using the Peg System 116
Super technique: create Mind Webs 118
Practice using Mind Webs 120
Check-out: exercise organizing information 122
into solid memories


Check-in: how well do you remember names 132
and faces
Super technique: the 3-Step Memory Booster 136
Practice using the 3-Step Memory Booster 138
Check-out: exercise your memory for names 140
and faces

How to use this book

A visual program The chapters
If there is one magic word to open the door to a The rst step to boosting memory is to understand
better memory, this word has to be picture. It what memory is and how it works. Chapter 1 offers
is a fact that pictures are easier to remember than a clear, illustrated introduction to memory and brain
words. As you will see, the method behind the potential. Chapters 2 and 3 focus on short-term
majority of the memory-enhancing techniques and long-term memory respectively. The next two
presented in this book is to translate information chapters offer key memory-enhancing techniques
into striking visual images and register these based on visualization and imagination (Chapter 4)
to enable better recall. This is one of the main and organization (Chapter 5). The book then
reasons why Max Your Memory is a book thats explores memory for names (Chapter 6) and
visually led with fun and engaging illustrations and numbers (Chapter 7) and introduces key methods
short chunks of easily digestible text. to improve memory capacity for both. The nal
Since learning becomes much easier when chapter looks at some of the tweaks you can make
it is fun and relevant to us, most of the exercises to your lifestyle to maximize brain health: this
throughout the book are not abstract but relate to includes information on nutrition, ways to manage
familiar, everyday situations. stress, and tips to get adequate sleep and exercise.

Super technique 92 LEAVING A VIVID IMPRESSION ON YOUR MIND (IMAGINATION AND MEMORY) Super technique: the Journey Method 93

pages offer proven A typical route

methods for boosting The Journey Method
Imagine you have a long itinerary of things to do, but
dont have a pen to write a list. In the morning you
need to go to the post ofce and then to the library

memory power The Journey Method (also known as the method

of loci or the memory palace) dates back to
to return books. You are then meeting a friend for
lunch. In the afternoon, you have to collect your
shirts from the dry cleaners, visit the pet store to buy
sh food, and nally buy a few grocery items.
Ancient Greek times. It is a very efcient
In order to use the Journey Method to memorize
method that combines spatial learning this to-do list, rst you need to select where your
and visualization. The method is useful mental walk will take place. Lets say its a house, like
the one illustrated here. This then becomes your
for memorizing sequences, lists, memory palace. There are 6 items on your
different points in a speech, to-do list, so you will need 6 locations in your
memory palace too.
material for a test, or even steps Now you need to link each item on
42 GONE IN A FEW BLINKS OF THE EYE (SHORT-TERM MEMORY) Exercises to test your concentration 43
to operate a complex machine. your list to each location. The best way to do this is
to use the Link System (see pp.8889). For instance,
you can imagine a poster of a giant stamp hanging

Exercises to test your concentration 15:

the difference
it work?
Here is another way to test your attention to detail. the 5 differences between this picture and the one you
on the wall of your entrance hall. This will remind you
of the post ofce later on when you mentally enter
the house. You can imagine humanlike books sitting
Study theusing theonJourney
picture Method,
the left for you Cover it up
5 seconds. are now holding in your mind? Draw a circle around the
The more youre able to focus, the better you will be at holding and using at your dining table to remind you of the library,
and a mental
then look at walk acrossonathe
the picture veryright.
Can you spot differences as you spot them.
information in your working memory. Get used to close observation so that and so on. The more bizarre and surreal the images
environment: it can be your house, the route
are, the better your memory for them will be.
you pick up the smallest detail. Try the following exercises. you take to work, or even your own body. When you are done, youll only have to take that
Your walk should always start in the same journey through your memory palace to locate
location (for instance, at the front door of each to-do item on your itinerary waiting for
14: Notice the odd one out
your house) and follow the same route (rst you in the location you left it earlier.
A: While on a skiing holiday, you come out of your ski because all the skis look similar. Your pair is not made the dining room, then the kitchen, then the
cabin and look for your pair of skis: its not easy up of matching skis: can you nd it? bathroom, the stairs, and so on).
The idea is to create a link between each
item on your list and each visited location (or
locus). You can merely leave an item in a Many memory champions who use the
location or more creatively connect the two. Journey Method claim that they need
What matters is that you take the time to to clean up their mental
locations periodically to avoid
visualize the item in this location and enrich
cramming them with too much
your mental image with as much detail as stuff! To get rid of all your
possible. Later on, when you need to recall links and images, imagine
the items on your list, you will walk along cleaning each location until
you can see them as they
your mental path and nd each piece of
actually are. In other
information where you left it. words, free of bizarre
scenes or anything crazy.
DID YOU KNOW: DISTRACTED BY NOISE Youve and channel it into your sense of vision alone to
been invited over for dinner in an unfamiliar part make sure you nd the right house by spotting
B: Youve lost your car in the parking lot once again! come in matching pairs. Can you spot your car? This is a of town. As you get closer to your destination, the correct street, which is why you need to limit
For some inexplicable reason all the other parked cars lot harder than it might seem at rst. you look closely at the street signs while you slow doing concurrent activities. The fact of the matter
down. You also stop talking to your friend in the is that if you try to do several things at once, youll
car and turn down the radio. What is going on? probably fail in all these tasks: you will not have
You are doing all this because your attention is a meaningful conversation with your friend, you
currently being pulled in three different directions. will not appreciate the music on the radio, and
You want to harness all that attentional power youll probably miss the street you are looking for.

Special information boxes

include Top tips and Did
Solutions on p.1801
you know? facts about
how memory works