Memory plateaued early and has gotten worse

My memory performance has plateaued early and seems to have gotten worse.

My scores in memory league are:

Cards: 16 in 60s
Images: 26 in 60s
Names: 12 in 60s
Numbers: 30 in 53s
Words: 14 in 60s

These scores aren’t very good and I’ve already seemed to hit a ceiling. Furthermore, I am even failing to achieve my previous best scores.


Just take a few days off and then come back.

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That’s not too bad at all. Better than a lot of people.
I was not even close to that at first.

You seem to have the correct system, and seems like you just need to practice more.

This is also good. I’m sure you’ll get better with more practice.

Why do you think you have?
What are you struggling with?

This was what I thought as well when I was stuck at 50 digits for months.
I needed more practice with my palaces, more practice with my actions, and more practice with visualising my objects, and the magic happened. Now at 74 digits. I’m still happy to get between 50-60 in a minute. This is good enough for my purpose in my daily life. Tho I do compete, it’s not my main reason. It’s a nice hobby, and a great brain workout.

Are you practicing to compete?

I think you’d just need to master the system you are using with pairing your links, do more visualisation, and go faster than your normal speed.

How fast do you go with your locis?
How do you practice your number digits?
Do you practice visualization with your images and actions?

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I’ve taken one day off here and there but it didn’t help. I will try to take a few, but practicing is addicting. I will give it a go though!

I feel I’ve hit a ceiling because I haven’t improved in a few weeks and my level isn’t even high, plus I have been getting very poor scores. It be different if I was trying to get level 9 or 10. Even my wife, using no mnemonics, got 12 names on memory league after 2-3 tries.

I’m having trouble with everything now.

I practice just for fun and personal accomplishment. I’d like to reach level 10 on everything just to prove to myself I can, and so I can annoy my friends and family by claiming I have one of the best memories in the world. :wink:

I do speed training where I go faster than I can memorize. I’ll just see how fast I can recognize the cards. Right now I can do all the cards I’m required to on memory league with 20+ seconds left over. But when I try to beat the level I can’t make it through all the cards and even have gaps on the ones I got through.

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Your scores are quite good already.

I don’t think that you have hit a ceiling. What you are describing sounds more like the plateau effect.

My advice would be to change your training routine every now and then for a while. The easiest way to do this is to add new journeys. Or you use the current ones, but traverse them backwards, from the last locus to the first one. Or skip every second location, using only the ones in between. Or place the images upside down on the stations.
Sometimes it’s even enough to alter the sequence of the disciplines in training. For example when you got used to start with Cards and then proceed to Images, try to do it the other way round.

Don’t throw away your training routine completely, just add enough variation to get you off autopilot. You know that you are doing it right when you have to focus again.

Adding variation can help the brain to find shortcuts in its neural circuits. With some luck this can enable you to break through a plateau.

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Good advice, I will give that a try!

Question for everyone:

Is it possible for a palace to get worn out? I was only using 2 palaces over and over. Eventually my recall became so poor that it didn’t take long at all for the images to disappear. Sometimes I wouldn’t even wait and I would imagine all my images leaving or being erased so I could use it again right away.

If so, maybe that’s why I plateaued and regressed. I just need a break and to create some more palaces for short term memorization.

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In training, whether the mind or the body, there are plateaus. This doesn’t mean progress has stopped but it will stall for a while. Usually the most productive approach is to give things a rest for a while. People in training are prone to undervalue the resting required. Exercise does not make you stronger, not immediately, it actually breaks down the body and leaves it weaker. The repair process that takes place when you rest is what makes you stronger. Having spent a lifetime as a student of often challenging material, I find this to be true of the brain as well. Be persistent but be patient.


Very true!