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Memory Mechanics

Oisín Mac Fhearaí destynova at esatclear.ie
Thu Apr 11 21:21:43 EST 2002

> "It is a different way of thinking--each concept is translated
> into pictures and these are inserted into a pre-memorized place.
> It's like a system of rooms which hold the information," he
> explained.
> Malgaroli, who uses Golfera as an example of the potential power
> of the mind, says he hopes minds like Golfera's will bring science
> one step closer to understanding memory.
> "We would need to identify the genes for memory, the key proteins
> involved. We are still a long way off but I hope we might get
> there in the next couple of decades," he added.

This seems to me to be more like a well-implemented trained memory system, a
conscious system of memorizing information, rather than a natural
subconscious process, or eidetic/photographic (are they the same? some say
they are, some say otherwise - Haber and Haber?) memory.

It seems difficult (well, based on not enough information) to distinguish
whether this Golfera had an exceptional automatic ability, or simply came up
and applied conscious memory systems, such as those used by mnemonists, like
the legendary Shereshevsky (who was apparently synaesthetic, which worked ,
maybe this person was too).

It also leads me to wonder if training your memory with conscious systems
(associative, symbolic imagery and such...) improves overall memory about
the thing you're trying to memorise... I was testing a really basic system,
where you pick 10 words rhyming with the numbers from one to ten (bun, shoe,
tree, door... etc) and visually link them with the object/word you want to
I got someone to write a list of 10 things, and they did, but he purposely
scribbled one of the words and wrote something else (presumably he was
trying to be tricky, which is good!).
When I started going through the list having memorised them, having only
memorised the newer bit, I was able to see fairly clearly the number, and
the scribbled out word, and the new word, which impressed us both.
Then again, I can't remember any of the list now :)

Anyway, enough rambling :)


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