Reusing memory palaces.

This issue has got me thinking though and I have come up with a solution that seems to work for me, maybe it will for you.When I try and visualise my house, I find I can visualise it quite well at many different points in time.That is, I can imagine my bedroom when it didn’t have a certain lamp or have a certain carpet.I can even create separate memory palaces for different points in time.

This gave me an idea, what if you forced a change of scenery?Let me explain, say you were using a chair as a loci.You could imagine the chair on fire and have the object interacting with the fire.Or you could imagine a table with two men fencing and have the object trying not to get caught in
the crossfire.I tried this out and it seems it also helps with recall as there is more links to the object automatically(does it burn, can it resist a hit from a sword?)and it also helps viewing it from the same angle.

Now let’s say your Memory palace has 5 loci.
Call them loci 1, loci 2, loci 3, loci 4, loci 5.

Say initially you decide on this:

Loci 1:On fire

Loci 2:Underwater

Loci 3:Covered in vines

Loci 4:Covered with rocks

Loci 5:Ghostly activity(Halloween!)

This could be memory palace 1.

Now we generate a second memory palace like this

Loci 1:Underwater
Loci 2:Covered in vines
Loci 3:Covered in rocks
Loci 4:Ghostly activity
Loci 5:On fire.

So the scene at loci 2 becomes the scene at loci 1, the scene at loci 3 goes to loci 2 and so on.The scene at loci 1 goes to loci 5.

Using this method you can create 5 palaces, also because each loci is shifted by one each time the scenes go in the same order everytime and you only have to remember one order of the scenes.One problem is that the loci have to be quite distinct or they get mixed up.

So out of a 5 loci palace you have made 5 5 loci palaces.just by memorising the order of 5 scenes.And you can also link the palaces together and create a 25 loci palace of sorts.

Anyway, Let me know what you think.

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Question here.

Instead of having all loci contain a different marker, why not give them the same marker?

So Palace 1 is just normal, all 5 loci are as they are supposed to be. In Palace 2, everything is on fire. In Palace 3, everything is covered in vines. etc, etc.


That would work but it’s down to preference.I prefer having all different markers in the same palace.This is because I mostly link these palaces together, so when I see a loci with a certain marker I instantly get reminded of the objects I have placed in loci with the same marker.This serves as a kind of mini review while memorising.The problem is is that when all of the same markers are grouped together, I only see the objects I have just placed rather than objects I have seen a while ago and might need reviewing.

Watch out with reusing palaces, when it comes to remembering information long term Alex Mullen recommends only using a palace once. So for like a grocery list there would be no harm in reusing a palace.

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Interesting take.

I do not post much but it seems to me that, perhaps, just perhaps I might help here. Expand your advice with a personal example that hopefully others can use / copy.

In the early stages of using “memory palaces” it often happens that learners get bogged down with one or two (or maybe even twenty-five or twenty six) that is to say a limited number of memory palaces.

And the MrDrProfessor is right - there are dangers using the EXACT same memory palace more than once.

But beginners then think “How the hell am I going to prepare hundreds and hundreds palaces???”
I’ve even seen newbies here writing that they had run out of palaces…

Well, there is an easy way around this, - read on and find out how… I’ll give TWO different methods of developing unlimited amounts of memory palaces - all different. But based on the same sort of template;

There are many many ways to overcome this: The easiest is to have a future proofed system to construct a new memory palace at the click of the fingers.

Future proofed in that it is pre-peged and pre-ordered but the location (or time) changes.

I have seen quite a few examples of this, two that I use are:

First Method:
Crossroads Memory Palaces based on a “clock” shape:

You take any crossroads you are familiar with and superimpose a pre-prepared template which is pegged and in order.

The facct is that whatever crossroads you use you can imagine being there and you know what is position one through twelve. For beginners these can be pegged of course - I used to use as an example common pegs like shapes or rhymes and have people imagine a new shop or stall selling related items in each position, then the character interact with the informationi you wish to store there… example is: Pegs of 1-12 of Candle, Swan, Pawn Brokers, Door (joiners), Astrologer, Gunshop, newspaper, fish shop (where octopuses love stealing fish number 8), pet shop - cat’s have nine lives, a nail bar for ten, dance club for 11 and a jewellers where you buy a clock for 12. This is just the first level of course.

So on the map you imagine a Candleshop at position 1, perhaps always inhabited by the same character …
Swan Pub for position 2 perhaps always with the same landlady Mrs Swan…

Here is a basic list from an old screenshot in word:

Using this ‘system’, you can choose literally any crossroads you know anywhere in the world.
Always make north 12, 6 south and the others corresponding.
I’ve use this particular method for basic lists, music theory, summaries of entire books, etc… I do not compete in memory sports - I am interested in applied memory methods…

I used to have people imagine the home they grew up in, but I’ve found it is much easier to get them to imagine a crossroads - any intersection of two roads. They can relate to that and then image the locations in seconds, and then always return there if they make a vivid association with the information they want to remember and the location they put it in.

One thing to maybe bear in mind is that the loci (shops stall or whatever) are arranged like the numbers on a clock - you stand in the centre and point - north is always twelve - her’s a combined clock and crossroads m should give people the idea, fingers crossed.

Second Method : Use of Penrose Stairs

This is another method - and a simple one for long term information as it is all pretyy much int he same place.

A penrose stair is a circluar route that you go back to the beginning again and keep on going and going, but you can in your head imagine things changing and going on for ever and ever… by going round and round but making each a different lap… colour… and each loci with a peg or character…

This method simply means using a known journey of a set number of memory slots or loci, and when you get to the end you imagine being a storey higher. You go around and around. I use this a great deal now. I find it combines well with the crossroads template as well, but I have used it in long journeys too, I suspect this is the best way to remember simple information with say a hundred stages - I used this for encoding the entire Grand Staff of music as a PAO… 00-99 but I used only a twelve stage walk around my home city - but it was like lap one - red (1-12), lap two orange (13-24 etc and I encoded them by colour using the old ROYGBIV


For the musical Grand Staff (and I show this only as an example - you can use this for anything). I used Google Earth to reinforce my own memory:

Chose a route from my city I know and can imagine walking:

Chose the route in various angles:

Then pegged it with that route in my head

And then made it colour coded each lap:

And here’s one of the fifth lap (blue - red orange yellow gren BLUE)

Each loci (here a street bathed in a colour) was unique and had a PERSON, with an ACTION and an OBJECT, A NUMBER and a SYMBOL.

The whole route can be imagined as a long winding journey in laps, I foudn this sort of thing helped:

I understand why Alex Mullin might say what he says but he’s an memory athlete and trying to do things quickly against the clock - hence his emphasis on encoding - that’s all very well but personally I’m using applied techniques to help me and others learn things deeply so they will NEVER forget and using the same types of future proofed system really is what people like me need to do. Anyone can imagine a crossroads - their own favourite one or local one:

or a Penrose stair

or spiral

IN ESSENCE: Our memories are unlimited for memory locations and palaces, the challenge is to have a system - and the best system is one that is a template that can be used again and again in different locations. I’ve shown two ideas, but I would interested in feedback as I am still trying to get better at instantly coming up with new palaces… there is lots to remember! And it’s fun.


Wow, thanks for sharing, your post is Soo well made and I can’t wait to put both of these tachniques to test!

I tried reusing a palace once for pi, 0-500 was the “normal” house and 501-1000 was the house on fire… The success was limited, the images were confused between the two runs… But I’m sure that the Pegs and not having 500 Loci in it will help hehe ^^°