Did you do all this while training(Engaged Brain regions used by "Top" Memory Athletes only !)?

In 2002, a British study scanned the brains of ten “superior memorizers” — eight leading contenders in the World Memory Championships, and two individuals previously studied for their extraordinary memory accomplishments — all people that had demonstrated truly impressive feats of memory, in terms of the ability to quickly memorize hundreds of numbers or unrelated words. The ten “memory champions” were matched with ten controls, who had no memory capabilities out of the ordinary.

A number of brain regions were of course active in all tasks, for both groups. But there were differences between the two groups, both in terms of greater activity in some regions, and, more interestingly, in terms of the memory champs using brain regions not used by the controls*. Most particularly, regardless of task and regardless of performance, the memory champs engaged the left medial superior parietal gyrus, bilateral retrosplenial cortex, and right posterior hippocampus. These areas are all known to be involved in spatial memory and navigation.

memory champs using brain regions not used by the controls*

Those memory champions were the top memory althletes of the World Memory Championsips and only they used those brain regions

Left medial superior parietal gyrus- Involved in aspects of attention and visuospatial perception, including the representation and manipulation of objects. (Source-ScienceDirect).

Bilateral retrosplenial cortex- In humans, fMRI studies implicate the retrosplenial cortex in a wide range of cognitive functions including episodic memory , navigation, imagining future events and processing scenes more generally.(Source- Wikipedia)

Right posterior hippocampus - The precise functional role of the hippocampus remains a topic of much debate. The dominant view is that the dorsal (or posterior ) hippocampus is implicated in memory and spatial navigation(Source- Nature)


It is interesting to note that only superior memorizers used those brain regions,

How many of the about 7 functions you perform when training at least in your imagination when memorizing with or without your memory palaces-

Using episodic memory(Maybe the users of Memory Palaces or only Memory Champions use episodic memory when memorizing!)
navigation(Tip-Navigate your memory palace!)
imagining future events(Imprecise Tip-Use your imagination!)
processing scenes more generally
memory(Memory Palace)
spatial navigation(Tip-Use your Spatial Memory!)
attention(Tip-Pay More Attention!)
visuospatial perception including the representation and manipulation of objects(Tip-Throw objects or perform crazy actions in your Mind Palace)

Note-If I find that some of the top memorizers do those things when memorizing and the rest of us do not then it may be possible for us normal people to have a way to become superior memorizers ourselves,

And credit to @ClimbforMemory (Nelson Dellis,4 times USA memory champion) because many of his tips are written here and also to Mempowered for parts of their article,


Have a Memorable Day.

You’re getting things a bit mixed up here. The control group was not lower ranking memory athletes but people that don’t participate in memory sports to begin with. This is not a matter of ranking in the top 10, top 100, or top 1,000… if you’re using a memory palace, by design, you’ll be using the aforementioned areas of the brain.

Some people in a recent study learned the Memory Palace technique and there were some of the top 50 memory athletes in that study and it was found that the brain’s memory athletes had a few different things,

And they used the regions of the brain responsible memory lesser and the brain regions that are used for supporting memory more!,

And you can find many articles on the study online




Again, who’s the control group here? I’t not memory athletes that rank 51-100…

…less and more compared to what? The control?

@Boris knows more than both of us since he was in involved in that study maybe he can tell us whether the things I have written are true or not,


Have a Nice Day.

You could just link to the study you’re referring to. They describe the experiment in there. That will include the control group. Also…

…are you sure he was involved in a study that was done 20 years ago? He was probably finishing high school back then, seeing how he was born in 1984.

The people who trained in memory techniques for 3 months compared to some of the best memory athletes the world has.


If I remember correctly there was a difference in the number of words recalled between the control group and memory athletes with lower brain activations in some areas of their brain and lower in others.

There are more studies which involve the world’s best memory athletes and that study which was conducted in 2002 is only one of them, I later switched to talking about the study conducted in the recent times,

I will post some articles of that study here soon,


Have a Great Day.

You can look at the names of the authors of it

The study you are likely referring to… it would seriously help if you could cite your sources… was looking at a group of people that had never used mnemonics before and received three months of training compared to a group that didn’t receive said training during those three months.

Edit:They recieved 6 weeks of memory traning,



Here, we performed two separate studies that allowed a detailed characterization of mnemonic expertise, as well as tracking the buildup of experience over time.

First, we assessed memory athletes with extraordinary training in using the method of loci, as shown by their ranking among the world’s top 50 in memory sports, and compared them to mnemonics-naïve controls.

Second, we recruited mnemonics-naïve participants who underwent either an extensive method of loci training regime that spanned several weeks, a working memory training, or no intervention. In both studies, we focused on the neural correlates during encoding and retrieval and aimed at elucidating their contributions to durable memory formation.

The term mnemonics-naïve refers to people without prior training in mnemonics. Clearly, they don’t compare Top 50 memory athletes to non-Top 50 athletes. You need to pay closer attention to what you read!


The differences between the Brains of The World’s top memory athletes vs average people without former traning in Mnemonics,

There are Differences, And some of them only found in the brains of top memory athletes which may have been due to the memory athletes using some parts of the brain more and some parts of their brain less during memory traning and maybe alternative methods which can cause those differences in the brain found in the brains of top memorg athletes can be developed to increase the problablity of a person using that technique of becoming a great memorizer,

I also think that there are not many people in this world using the Method of Loci but we have many good memory athletes and potentially also people who use the method of Loci but do not participate in memory sports and if that technique would have been coon knowlage then we might have had many legends in the world,

I will try to develop such a technique and will try to modify the method of loci to to cause the changes in the brains of average memorizers that are fund in the brains of the best memory athletes,


Have a Grand Day.

People who run from A to B have a higher heart rate then people who walk from A to B. Doesn’t mean that heart medication is going to turn ‘walkers’ into ‘runners.’

These “average memorizers” already use a memory palace, so their brain is already… they are ‘runners’ (maybe slow ones) but they’re not ‘walkers’ anymore.

…you know what, I’m bored with this discussion. You asked in your initial post:

Call such a person a memory athlete, an average memorizer, a mnemonist… they’re not unfamiliar with the techniques. You say things like (and this is in your original post):

You always ‘navigate’ your memory palace… how else would you get from one location to another.

That is simply anticipating what’s in the next location.

Excellent tip. How is that not the first point again?

Bottom line

If you don’t use a memory palace, your brain will not ‘navigate space’ to go to a ‘location’ where you’ve stored the information. You’ll see these areas in the brain light up also when asking a non-memory person (athlete, memorizer, whatever) when asking them about the things they saw on their car ride to the office, because they’ll traverse the route and do exactly the same thing.

Only difference is that they will talk about things that were in fact in those loci and not about imaginary things that they’ve place there.

Since I was tagged, I am happy to comment briefly.

Looks like you two just talked at cross purposes a bit.

The Maguire study from 2002 was the first to do (f)MRI on memory athletes. However there pool of memory athletes was just 8 competitiors of a World Memory Championships even in the 90s plus two spectators who claimed to also have trained these methods.

Our studies as published in Neuron 2017 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2017.02.003), Brain Structure and Function 2018 (https://doi.org/10.1007/s00429-017-1556-2) and Scientific Advances 2021 (posted by aicreator) compared memory athletes (top 50 of the World Ranking List at moment of inclusion in study) with matched controls AND a mnemonic training group with a working memory training group. In the training groups people also were their own controls as we can compare post and pre training.

From the Maguire group 2002 only two (at max, their list is not public and I can only interfere it from available data) would have been good enough to be included in our study.