"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."
-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
1 Two cheers for mnemonic techniques3 Two cheers for mnemonic techniquesTwo cheers for mnemonic techniquesHow can we develop transformative tools for thought？2020-10-18Journal
If you've never used memory palaces this sounds like it couldn't possibly work. But even novices are often shocked by how well such techniques work, with just a small amount of practice. Experts who work hard developing these techniques can do remarkable things, like memorizing the order of a shuffled deck of cards, or lists of hundreds of digits. It's a way of using people's immensely powerful visual and spatial memories as a form of leverage for other types of memory A small minority of the population does not possess a mind's eye, and so cannot mentally visualize. This condition is known as aphantasia. One of us asked on Twitter if any aphantasics had tried using the method of loci, and if so how well it worked for them. The replies were remarkably heterogeneous (and striking), but most said such mnemonic techniques did not work for them. This deserves further study..