Saturday, July 18, 2009

SMASHIN' SCOPE

In an earlier post I wrote about the three foundation pillars to Memory: Association, Image and Location. These can be remembered with the image of Muhammid Ali.

Memory works by ASSOCIATING new information with stored memories in some imaginary LOCATION. The stronger the image (using all the senses if possible) the more ways the IMAGE can be associated and later recalled.

Tony Buzan writes in his book "Master Your Memory" about 12 special techniques for strengthening your skills of making strong images and assocations. The first letter of these techniques spells the phrase SMASHIN' SCOPE.

Synesthesia and Sensuality. Synesthesia (also spelled synaesthesia) is from the Ancient Greek "syn" meaning together and "aisthesis" meaning sensation. Many great memorisers have developed an increased sensitivity in each of their senses to enhance their powers of association and recall. Use all of your senses when developing an image
  • Vision - What does it look like? Colour? Brightness? What can you see?
  • Hearing - What does it sound like?
  • Smell - What is the smell? Perfume? Pungent? Chemical?
  • Taste - Describe the taste sensation
  • Touch - What does it feel like? Textures?
Kinaesthesia - awareness of bodliy position and movement in space

Movement - action enhances a memory. Make your images alive and moving as if they were scenes from a movie.

Association - What you are trying to remember should be associated with something you already know. Typically, this known item is a peg in your number system, or a location on an imaginary journey.

Sexuality. We all have a good memory and wild imagination when it comes to sex, so use it! You don't have to tell anyone that you used strong sexual imagery to remember something.

Humour - the more ridiculous, absurb, funny and surreal you make your images, the more memorable they will become. Humour puts your mind into a playful state making you more creative and open to new possibilities.

Imagination. The images you create in your mind can be as fantastic and wild as you like. Unlike a big-budget Hollywood film, you can create blockbuster images in your memory.

Number. Numbering adds specifity and efficiency to the principle of order and sequence.

Symbolism. Substituting a more meaningful image for an ordinary or boring image makes a stronger memory. I think this letter could stand for Substitution where you use a different, but associated image to aid recall. For example, in remembering the countries of the world, I used the word Bratwurst (a type of meat) to help me remember Bratislava (the capital of the Slovak Republic).

Colour - Use all the colours of the rainbow to colour your image (remember Roy G Biv?). Don't make your associations just in black and white - make them full technicolor.

Order (or Sequence). When items are memorised in a sequence, you can recall the items by taking a mental journey through this sequence.

Positive Images - make your images positive and pleasant. We are better at recalling happy images and negative memories are usually suppressed. When your images are bright and positive you will enjoy the experience of recalling them.

Exaggeration. As far as possible, exaggerate everything in your images. Exaggerate the size, action, colours, sounds and quantities.


Some of the information in this articles is from Chapter 4 of "Master Your Memory" by Tony Buzan, published in 2000.

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