New research shows that an ancient technique strengthens brain connectivity.
You, too, can train your brain to become a memory athlete—one of those prodigious memorizers who compete to remember the longest sequence of playing cards, or put the most names to faces in the least amount of time. To perform such cognitive feats, memory athletes rely on an ancient mnemonic strategy called method of loci (Latin for places) or memory palace, the term Joshua Foer used in his popular book on memory champions, Moonwalking with Einstein. A new study published this week in Neuron compares, for the first time, the brains of memory athletes to those of regular folks given six weeks of training in the method of loci system. The non-athletes not only achieved similar feats of memory, but they also exhibited the same brain changes seen in the memory athletes with much stronger functional connectivity across relevant networks.