Indigenous Technology Strengthens Memory – NRC

Indigenous Technology Strengthens Memory - NRC

A memory technique from the Australian aborigines seems to work well for first-year medical students, which is better than the Western memory technique of ‘Memory Palace’. This is clear from an experiment with 76 students who had to memorize a list of twenty butterfly names. A research team led by brain scientist David Reser (Monash University, Australia) recently described this research. On PLOS ONE.

Both memory techniques operate in one place or on the landscape of objects with ‘localization’. The spatial basis of technology is not surprising because guidance and spatial intelligence are particularly important in the evolution and survival of human beings: we To think Spatial.


Old Western technique puts a series of things to remember in a familiar home strike, through which you walk your mind. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this technique was somewhat forgotten, but was torn from it by the influential historical study of Frances Yates, The art of memory (1966). The technique became widely known through the personal study of Joshua Foyer and his bestseller Moonwalking with Einstein (2011). This ‘Memory Palace Technique’ m. Goes back to the classical rhetoric of Dallius Cicero (106-43 BC) and others.

Australian engineering, 50,000 years before Australia’s first inhabitants, is the basis of the famous ‘dream time stories’ that make the Australian landscape ‘shiny’. Knowledge of water sources, old relationships and more was passed down from generation to generation according to strict rituals almost unchanged. Tribal technique combines with the localization of memory points in a myth, an additional element compared to the palace of memory. However, the educational and psychological function of the story has attracted much scientific attention in recent years. In A completely different investigation For example, in modern society it was once decided a few years ago that storytelling would fulfill many of the educational functions that children send to school.

Also read about tribal ‘dream time stories’: Thank you for the knowledge passed down over thousands of years

See the nature documentary

In the current memory research, after a short learning period and the first test, the participating students were divided into three groups: one group with Australian technique, the other with Western and no special instructions. Australian engineering students discover list of twenty butterfly names (Hairstream, patch, checkers bot, crutch, nymph, swallowtail And many) better and more complete, three times better than the first ‘untrained’ test, the Memory Palace students did twice and the untrained (others had to watch the nature documentary during training) were able to improve their score by half.

Looking back, the task is much easier, the researchers write. This is because some medical students (17 out of 76) already got 20 marks out of 20 in the initial test of ‘untrained’ and then kept that score. It has not been explored which memory technology students have already used on their own. Another drawback of the study was that in one session again, only eight out of six participants showed up.

In the PLOS ONE article, the researcher describes another study by Monash University that looked at whether aboriginal technique could be applied in a regular academic curriculum: in teaching the citric acid cycle. However, the nutrition engineering students involved responded with interest, the researchers write. One of the grateful students in the evaluation form wrote: “It is easier to remember a story than a whole page of facts”.

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