Ancient memory techniques developed by Aboriginal Australians may work better than the “palace of the heart” invented in ancient Greece and popularized by the BBC version of Sherlock Holmes.
Both methods involve mentally attaching information to a physical object or location, but Aboriginal techniques add an element of storytelling. Researchers aren’t sure if it’s the narrative or other aspects that have boosted the effectiveness of Aboriginal techniques, and the research is small. However, the study emphasizes that culture is making great efforts to convey information without the need for modern technology and writing.
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“Knowing how to learn these things is a certain amount of satisfaction,” said David Reser, co-author of the study and lecturer at the Faculty of Rural Health at Monash University in Australia.
“Palace of the Heart” is a method of attaching and storing information to objects in imaginary buildings and rooms. This technique, also known as the method of loci, is said to have its roots in the Greek poet Simonides of Theos, who barely avoided being crushed by the collapse of a building during a packed banquet. Simonides was able to identify the body of a fellow drinker by remembering where they were sitting before leaving the room, demonstrating the value of associating memory with a physical location. The Holmes character will help solve the case using this technique in the BBC series “Sherlock,” which aired from 2010 to 2017. Improves both short-term and long-term memory..
A new study tests the Palace of the Mind technique against what has been used by countless generations of Aborigines. This technique also adds information to physical geography, but is a narrative form that incorporates landmarks, flora and fauna. The idea of comparing the two came about when Reser and fellow instructor Tyson Yunkaporta were talking about how to incorporate memory and indigenous culture into the medical school curriculum. Yunkaporta is currently enrolled at Deakin University in Victoria, Australia, and is a member of the Aparek Clan.Sand Talk: How Indigenous Peoples Save the World(HarperOne, 2020).
Yunkaporta and Liza, along with other colleagues and medical students, put together a study of the two techniques and gathered them from first-year college medical students during the first few days of the class. Seventy-six students participated. Initially, a list of 20 common butterfly names was presented. This list was specially chosen by researchers because they wanted the study to be independent of medicine. Then they were told to write down as many names as they could remember.
Next, a 30-minute session was held, during which one-third of the students were taught the “palace of memory” technique, one-third were taken to the on-campus gardens, and Yunkaporta performed Aboriginal techniques. And unfolded the story that accompanies the garden. For the memory of the butterfly list. The last third, the control group, watched an irrelevant video during this time.
The students were given the list again and memorized in 10 minutes. Then I was asked to write down the butterfly’s name again. After a 20-minute unstructured break, a third test was performed and a final test was performed.
Incorporate a story
After looking at the list a few times, all the students improved through the test. The memory palace technique moderately improved the percentage of the total of the 20 names learned by the students, and the Aboriginal technique was very effective. The test turned out to be a bit too easy for an avid medical student, so this was translated into one or two extra names. Many remembered the names of 20 out of 20 butterflies in the first attempt. .. Future research on medical students needs to be more challenging, he said.
“By the time someone enrolls in medical school, they’re probably developing some pretty sophisticated technology themselves,” he said.
However, looking at memory training in other ways also showed improvements in Aboriginal techniques compared to the Palace of the Mind. Subsequent tests are three times more likely for students to remember less than 20 names to 20 out of 20 names, twice as much for the Aboriginal group, twice as much for the Mind Palace group, and only 50% for the untrained group. Also, students trained in Aboriginal techniques were significantly more likely to list butterfly names in order than the other two groups. According to Reser, the test didn’t require a list, but it makes sense for students who have attached information to the narrative to remember the information in a particular order.
“Sure, we can imagine how order is important in the medical field,” says Lesser. “For example, if you remember biochemical pathways and surgical techniques.”
The benefits of Aboriginal techniques may be due to the addition of layers of narrative, Reser said. Or it could be related to the fact that the participants actually went to the garden to learn (Mind Palace participants simply imagined a childhood home). Storytelling of Aboriginal techniques is also a community, not an individual, and may have helped improve memory.
Not enough students returned for follow-up for researchers to test the long-term effects of various training methods. The study’s co-author and senior instructor at the School of Medicine, Magalette Simmons, gathered feedback from students after the study and found that they enjoyed learning the techniques, and some still enjoy them in the study. I found that I was using.
This is promising, as many medical students are worried about the amount of memorization expected, Reser said. He and his colleagues want to incorporate these methods into their curriculum, but it is important to find an Aboriginal instructor who can accurately and delicately convey the technique. In Aboriginal practice, the method is very complex, with layers of information conveyed through songs, stories, and art, says Reser. Also, it takes a lot of effort and practice to keep the information attached to the story up to date.
“We want our students to get in touch with Aboriginal culture and see how rich and historically it is,” he said.
The findings were published in the journal on May 18. Pro Swan..
Originally published in Live Science.
Aboriginal memory techniques may be more effective than Sherlock’s “palace of memory”
Source link Aboriginal memory techniques may be more effective than Sherlock’s “palace of memory”