Miniature memory palaces - including your palm

I completely agree with that assessment. After a while, any simple encoding scheme becomes mechanical and the images lose their vividness, like cliches. If you make something out of the material, take the wet clay, squeeze it through your fingers and transform it into something that’s your own, you build a very strong connection.

I’ll go back and fool with it some more at a later time - that adds reinforcement.

To me this has a ‘Lukasa like’ feel to it. A big advantage of a sketch is ease of storage, filing paper or computer images.

I have yet to make a Lukasa but the first time I saw a picture in one of your posts, it had a very familiar, friendly feel to it. I felt like I understood it immediately.

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Thank you for your kind words.

I loved @Snillsparv’s apple palace. I love the shape of apples and in the West they have become connected with the Tree of Knowledge so it was irresistible. I decided to use it for another Javascript structure the express app.

In one’s imagination there is no implicit scale, an apple can be as big as one likes, but for all my talk about infinite detail in the miniature, well… apples are pretty smooth. There really weren’t enough distinct features for me to attach all the bits I needed. The plan I came up with is a bit ambitious for my skills but it was too much fun not to try and it came out well enough for the purpose. Simpler would have been a cross section through the apple. I thought I had gotten this idea from a Magritte painting. He did a lot of apples. But I can’t find it.

The graphite is very fragile, this kind of picture gets a bit overworked. I may have to try pen. Had some bad luck with the fixative which made splotches. Kind of plausible on an apple, but I have to talk to the art supp store.

Again, there’s a lot going on and some of these objects warrant their own drawings to display contents. There’s also small stuff. The branch upper right with the birds collects all the notifications. I had a lot of fun. Fixative was not kind to the two little ewes standing to the right of the central post.

It’s a song: "I ain’t got no ewes for that red rocking chair…"


Hello Lynne,

Can’t believe I haven’t scanned this thread before. Fascinating. I know your book is for sale. Is your Phd Thesis obtainable as well? I would love to read it. I suspect the Bibliography would be wonderful.


Hi Robert,

Thank you for your interest in my research and ideas. Much appreciated. I am not sure if you mean The Memory Code or Memory Craft. The latter has only just come out.

My thesis will be somewhere on the LaTrobe University website through the library, I would guess. It has been published by Cambridge University Press as Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies which costs a lot. If it is the bibliography you want, that is on my website, and sorted by topic, unlike in the PhD or CUP book.

Let me know if you can’t find what you want!



Thank you Lynne,

I have no idea what i want :).
I will try the library, work through the bibliography, and have a read of your books.

I believe my interest is in practical memory techniques used in day to day tasks. Many of the techniques focused on here are extremely effective but highly focused on performing specific skills. I would like to apply these techniques generally rather than focusing on whether I can memorize the most numbers the fastest.

I reserve the right to change my interests randomly so thank you for the links. I will wander through them for a few months and see where it takes me.

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Then it is Memory Craft that you want, much as I would love to be able to spruik them all! My doctorate has little on how to use the methods in daily life. It is almost entirely analysis of indigenous memory techniques and the application to archaeology. The Memory Code adapted that for a general audience adding more archaeological sites. It is Memory Craft that is all about using the memory techniques in every day life. Only the final chapter is about memory competitions. All the rest is about memorising useful information.

I am addicted to memorising lots of useful information. Do you have any ideas about what you want to memorise?



Yes! Be there. Live the story. Make it a ‘real’ experience.

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Until now I had not had any doubt about the “CrashBoomBang” approach. Somehow this comment made me think about it.
When I want to find an image (once the various loci have been created), I play with sounds and images, until they make a “click”, as if two pieces were waiting to be assembled. Usually that “click” comes as a laugh or a smile. If I laugh, it means I found the right connection. It is something natural. So, I do not search for something bloody or cruel.

Nevertheless, in the creation of the loci there has been a change. Some years ago I used “Houses with rooms”, but I have evolved into using smaller objects, with much more detail (“miniature memory palaces”). If I use houses with rooms now, it is just to store smaller objects, or for to memorize something on the spot, because I am familiar with the places I have created throughout the years, or because I am using it in a class with students, and for beginners it is easier, I think, to use rooms that smaller objects.


I’m telling the instructor!


Sorry for the late reply, Liam.

My index finger is orange. I mentally poke it into an orange, pushing through the skin to the wet fleshy interior. I smell the burst of citrus as I burst through the skin. I feel the different textures. My mouth starts to water.

Smell has the powerful ability to evoke deep memories. I don’t know why this is not exploited more. Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu is a long journey down a memory that is triggered by the smell of cinnamon cookie.

For some reason I have a good memory for smells. I don’t have the most sensitive nose. Most women have a much keener sense of smell than I do, but I can often identify the smell when they cant. My mother was a chef and she taught me to cook and use spices. Perhaps it’s from that.

If you take something with a strong pleasant odor from your spice collection, cinnamon, mint and smell it, can you recall that sensation later?


A comment about Apple Palace. I made a pun about ‘ewes’ the “Red Rocking Chair” song. I presented it as a throwaway joke but that song is part of the memory “image”. I hear it playing as I mentally ascend the spiral. I find that the more dimensions I add, the stronger the attachment. The apple also has a smell as do all the objects within it.

À la recherche du temps perdu ! I could not simply click Like. It s an amazing book. So is your example.

I would love if all examples were gathered in one colorful thread. Many seem to go through many posts in search of examples like these, whether in search for inspiration, for a better understanding of how these techniques are used or just simply for pure fun and curiosity.

What do you think?


Yes, I’ve been interested for a while in direction that mnemonics take as they become more refined. In the beginning I needed CrashBoomBang but now just imagining something on a table is enough. I don’t need to use anything sexual or violent anymore.

So what does further refinement look like? I suspect it looks like a refinement of the senses - ie simply noticing texture, taste, smell, colour, contrast, weight, etc, without having to mentally exaggerate it.

I’ve heard the speed-carders don’t have time to make proper images - rather it’s on the level of impressions and feeling.

What do you think?

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I don’t do much quick memorization. I am interested in long term persistence. Seems that always takes work. Either a significant investment upfront to develop the image or series of enhancements on the go.

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I think it’s a good very useful idea. Not sure what the best approach would be. We should run this by @Josh.

This a weakness in all discussion forums. Material is scattered and often forgotten. Some threads are very rich, some just meh. A newbie may not know what to search for. Knowing keywords is half the search. And this site is a goldmine - we should mine it :slight_smile:

In many forums they have ‘stickies’. Valuable threads that stay at the top of the list even as new ones appear. I think this thread would be a very good choice for a sticky.

There’s also threads that have just one especially valuable contribution worth saving. It would be good if we could extract those and organize them but I don’t know about the propriety of editing other people’s material this way.


A post was split to a new topic: Organizing the best forum posts

I love the description of this site as a ‘goldmine’. Perfect!


Yes it has, completely agree. Unexpected memories come from a certain odour of soap. In my case, because of allergies my sense of smell is very limited, but soaps and detergents are always there.
But, I cannot really recreate them in my “imagination”. When I imagine a picture, I see it in my imagination. When I imagine a song, I hear it in my mind. I cannot do this with smell or taste. They are much more “chemical” than sight or hearing.

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I do not join competitions. I do not play against time or against anyone else. I suppose, though not sure, that the CrashBoomBang might work in the short term, but for long term memories richness works better.