Creating an Artificial Memory Palace

I don’t get out much so I currently do not have enough natural memory palaces to explore. I was wondering on ideas of how I can begin to design my own journey (I understand that help on this can only go so far because it needs to be personal to me). I’ve heard that video games are good for Loci, however the only ones that I know well are Pokemon ones and they appear to reppetitive to be vivid enough (they use a tileset that is repeated throughout the whole game so everything looks very similar). I was thinking of maybe getting out the pencil and paper and creatig a planet for my memories to live on.


use your bedroom.

If the world you create is memorable and consistent in your mind I say go for it. When I was memorizing pi I created an imaginary neighborhood of familiar houses. I even tried creating an imaginary landscape … it worked for me.

As well as creating an imaginary landscape you might try to go on an occasional memory trip to a park or mall. Part of the beauty of memory techniques is that it does force you to pay attention and find a purpose to be out and about. Try combining real and imagined landscapes to see which works best for you.

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Thank you for your comments.
FIrstly, I already have my bedroom as part of a memory palace because it is too small to fit enough images in as it’s own (I’m mostly memorising cards and long chains of numbers).

I’m going to attempt to take more walks around my local area, however it is quite difficult for me to get around because I live in such a remote location (which is mostly just complely open so not very useful).

Hi Scott,
I am from the UK too - where in the UK are you - there aren’t that many places that are remote these days (Yorkshire moors?) Have you tried using movies for memory journeys? If you have a film that you like and have watched many times it is possible to use this. Have you been on holiday somewhere? You could construct a journey around your holiday locations.

Imagine you are only 1 inch tall. If you cannot get a few hundred loci in each room of your house you’re not trying hard enough.

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Jimbo, I live on a farm in Surrey which is quite far away from any major towns and I’m not allowed to really go for walks on my own. My holidays are short so my memory’s are not that detailed (I use the best ones already) but I like the idea of a film. Where about are you from?

Geoff, I’ve never actually thought of it like that before.

Thank you for the responses.

I am in Colchester in Essex :slight_smile:

On using films…

My daughter and I are currently creating a journey of 100 loci using the Wizard of Oz. Too easy to follow the yellow brick road. It’s her favorite movie so we’ve seen it hundreds of times (ok maybe dozens, we definitely have worn out a few copies on VHS and DVD) so she knew most of the obvious landmarks along the journey.

The good thing about using the “movie method” (has anyone coined that term yet? if not I call it!) is that the order is forced sequentially. After watching it a few more times specifically to look for landmarks, we then sat down and drew a Oz journey map, which we bounced off some of the excellent maps available online, one example:

Our next step, was to capture images from the movie and create a master map with hyperlinked loci images that pop up along the way. That way we could practice run the journey from any point and then go forwards or backwards from there. Plus we didn’t have to keep watching the movie again and again. If I was better at video editing I guess I could put chapter marks from the DVD menu right before each loci so you could jump right to them. Still that would only offer a forward route from that point on. By creating a interactive map we can run forward or backwards so really the 100 loci is 200 or more.

I’ll probably next have her map the Emerald City for language study (Dominic method).

We’ve only been working on this for around two weeks now and she knows the 100 loci pretty well. We watched the DVD last night and she was calling them out before they came on screen. Nine years old and she picked it up right away.

This concept has me now looking at non fiction travel DVDs and road trip movies like classics Vacation, European Vacation, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Cannonball Run, Smoky and the Bandit, Easy Rider, Road Trip, Raising Arizona, True Romance, Rain Man and more contemporary ones like: Sideways, Little Miss Sunshine, The Motorcycle Diaries, Wild Hogs, One Week, and the Lord of the Rings.

The list goes on and on. Google “road trip movies” and there are pre-made lists of the top choices we have all seen many times and probably already know.

If you build numerous artificial palaces using this “movie method” it becomes easy to train/review. Pop in the movie and you get to run through the journey all over again.

I’m wondering then if you could pace the movie’s audio track as another way to train it? This would be awesome if it matched up to music tracks like Pink Flyod’s Darkside of the Moon and Wizard of Oz match up.


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You can use the travel magzines home decor and arch digest

They contain many news places and buildings

Also try searching

Their you can find a large number of home and palaces

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I found some good sites on building virtual memory palaces.

Probably old hat to the vetranos but for us noobs:

Here’s a blog that talks up SL as for building a Memory Palace (among other things)

And here’s an article that has a different idea and some good points on why not to use Second Life.

Lastly here’s a really good link from the article, perfect for us beginners:



If you have a kinda big room and your studying a small subject you can split smaller topics.You can use an elevator technique.just imagine the room has three floors.used this for biology and could recall different exam answers to different topics from past the nitrogen cycle and fermentation and protein synthesis.

I haven’t thought of doing his! I’m going to give it a shot and see how it pans out for me, creating journeys has been one of my hindrances also.

Here is some interesting research:
Socrates Method Of Memory Works Just As Well Using Virtual Reality

I’ve added bold to the interesting part:

“We created three groups,” said Madan. “One group had no form of memory aid, the second group used a personally familiar location to aid their recall, and for the last group we created computerized virtual realities of common spaces like an apartment and office.”

This technique was believed, until now, to be most effective when an individual was in an environment that they were very familiar with. But the researchers found, after testing 142 people, that this wasn’t necessarily the case.

There was no difference in memory recall between the test subjects who used imagery of their own familiar locations and the people using a virtual environment on a computer screen,” said Legge.

The full study is here:

See also: artificial memory palaces.

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Interesting result. The study seems to cost money though so we can’t really see the breakdown. It’s not a big sample either but at least they’re looking into this. That said, as with any technique, the “best” method is the one that works best for each individual.
Dominic O’Brien said he used some journeys from video games in competitions but he still prefers journeys based on real journeys. It would be interesting to see the results he achieved in the events where he used video game journeys compared to identical events where he used a real journey, regardless of his preference.

Go to Google and Bing Images
Search on room designs, e.g., living room, etc
Search on housing plans
Build you an ideal “mental” house
Google/Bing maps and Earth allow you to “travel”

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Hi ‘ScottSussex’!

Since posting this good question in April 2012, how have you progressed with regards to using memory palaces?

Hi ‘4003-Dook’

This is a really useful response. The links are excellent. Thank you.

Move the post to root!

I can split the discussion if people want. Just let me know the post number you’re referring to.