The USA Memory Championship was recently held in New York. Want to learn about the world of competitive memory, or improve your own brain power?
One recent book that looks into what it takes to be a memory champion is Joshua Foer's Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything. Want to see if you can remember the title and author? Picture Michael Jackson & Albert Einstein, both moonwalking, with a number 4 between them. Really concentrate on the image. See if you can recall the title & the author's last name (without looking!) at the end of this post!
Foer's book covers many aspects of memory--from a cultural history of memory, including the concept of a "memory palace," to the mental athletes that compete in memory competitions and their training methods. He also interviews scientists who study memory, examines why it can be so hard to remember such common things (like where you left your keys), and tries himself to enter the elite realm of mental athletes.
Categories in memory competitions include memorizing names and faces (and details about the people, such as birth date, profession, and phone number), memorizing and reciting back random numbers, the order of randomly shuffled decks of cards, and writing from memory an unpublished long poem (yes, punctuation and line breaks count!). There are winners both for individual events and one winner with the most cumulative points.
Want to train your memory? Maybe even compete someday? Try some of these books:
The Sharper Mind, Fred Chernow
Total Memory Workout: 8 Easy Steps to Maximum Memory Fitness, Cynthia Green
The Harvard Medical School Guide to Achieving Optimal Memory, Aarron Nelson
Committed to Memory: How We Remember and Why We Forget, Rebecca Rupp
We all forget things occasionally, but if we do a little bit of brain training, we can keep our minds active and remembering for years to come! There are lots of different techniques to help improve your memory, so if you find something isn't working for you, try something different!
Now, what was the name of that book I told you about at the beginning of this post? And where ARE your car keys?