What do you think about artificial memory palaces/journeys?

Hey there,

After creating a lot of places, my storage is full.

I need more palaces for new information and wonder to use artificial palaces/journeys to memorize that new information.

What do you think about it? Would you use them and why?

Also, are they less effective? If yes, then why and for absolute visual persons like me, too?


I’m glad I’m not the only one wondering this! I just finished creating my first and only artificial palace however for several of the rooms, I took previous locations (I.e. transplanting my bedroom, friend’s kitchen, cousin’s laundry room, etc). I’m curious to see if anyone has any experience with this being less effective.


I don’t have any experience myself on this topic, but I found this paper which seems to indicate that there is not much of a difference (at least for naive users/beginners). Unfortunately it’s behind a paywall, but the abstract as interesting enough. :slight_smile:


I think they are fine. Once you convert a space into a mental representation it’s just a thought inside of your head. If you haven’t seen it, there is also a page on artificial memory palaces.


I think it is faster to use artificial/imaginary memory palaces/journeys. I also think it is more memorable and extensive/flexible to do this. Even if I had an endless supply of movie memory palaces I would still make my own virtual/imaginary/artificial memory palaces.

I personally find they are more effective.

The only thing with them really is that you have to remember them. Kind of like when you walk through a new place for the first time, most people don’t really remember the place. So it is important to revisit the places which you would do anyway with your reviewing.

Aside from this, as it is artificial you can abuse a lot of things to make them more memorable. There are really a lot more things to keep in mind when you make them yourself, but you don’t really need much consideration initially. You can just casually generate 20 locations in under a minute and use them.


I create and populate my palaces all at the same time and although I am interested in building an artificial one, and I tried a few, I have not found a way to use them on the fly, so they are not suited for my needs.

If anybody here has managed to create and populate and use an artificial palace on the fly, I am very interested!

Also, I cannot imagine anyone running out of real palaces, I keep on getting new ones everyday wherever I go and I have travelled a lot, but still, most of my palaces are from my childhood and teen years. And I could not run out since I cannot put them to use as fast as new ones appear in my day to day life.

I guess Iam lucky, but then again, perhaps not because maybe thats what causes my failures with artificial just because I dont need them?? But I am very interested and @Nagime and others experiences with artificial palaces is quite intriguing and fascinating, Id really like a taste of what youre having


I have done this. I do this often even, the trick to it is really to get each individual branch(creating,encoding,placing,reviewing) up to speed and use the right amounts of objects per loci. Using less than 2 objects or more than 4 objects particularly when on the fly is much more difficult then when not for me. I prefer to first make the locations in bursts, then place the objects inside but you can do it at the same time really.


Ill try again, but the only thing It ends up being is a long string of the images I am trying to remember and their necessary linking, no space to walk through really. i guess I have to try harder. I m trying to build walls and rooms and saloons and kitchens and theatres and halls and whatever comes to mind but I am ending up with just a simple linear string of associations. Perhaps Im too used to using real palaces that I didnt develop a sort of “imaginary spaces” skill?


I never put more than one image per locus. Am I mistaken or it works even better for you with 2 or 3? Perhaps I compensate by making more associations between the locations. But Ill try 2 for a while, who knows. I am doing as good as is needed but Im really thirsty for new discoveries.


Thank you for your reply!

You motivated me to start with artificial memory palaces/journeys :slightly_smiling_face:.


Thank you! That article is informative :blush:.


Thank you for your answer and for that article.
This article is very interesting!


I find at least when you are making it, it optimally works with around 3 images. When I do it with 1 image its definitely not as memorable dynamically. It feels kind of like when you are memorizing a string of digits and you are ‘not’ chunking if you use 1 image. Once the place is constructed and already memorized this changes though, it notably becomes easier to just use 1 image. I believe this is because all those unique images make the spot more memorable.

Reading this I think I know where your problem is. You must avoid using any portals/doors that are closed. When your space is closed off (can’t see the next space from the current) it instantly becomes non associated to the previous spot and becomes magnitudes harder to remember.

For me I generally walk through them and they feel more as a journey would. If I walked in a room I would not have to construct it from 4 walls it would kind of be the room itself the moment I walked in.

I do think it gets better overall, while there are a range of tricks and quirks to keep in mind with something like this, you do get better at just generating the places in the exact format you want to.


I had a flash when you said that.

Take image to remember, miniturize myself and walk through it, slide off it, squeeze it, taste a piece of it, and jump, swim, run to, fly to next one, bringing a piece from previous to next, and it works wonderfully. Oh! And I also instinctively made myself a giant grabbed a whole beach and planted it in a field if grass which I cut to glue on an old man s face making him a green field.

I just did almost a bit over 50 from pexels.com homepage and recall was perfect! Was so much fun too. I havent played video games since my childhood and it felt like I was a videogame hero like Mario.

This is first time I really feel space without a real palace.

Am trying that again.

Thats a real good nudge you just gave me Nagime, thanks a lot!

P.s I had already got pretty good at linking images :
to remember images (under ±100) I would simply have first image have an effect on second image and got really good at this without having to use a memory palace.

Sure feels like this could help me transform that into artificial palaces. Could be nice upgrade!


This is a cool topic and I have been thinking about it for a long time. It seems to me that expansion will take place over time, this is inevitable if you do not make a library in one room, but it is much more complicated.


…isn’t the second option really just using the linking method instead of a memory palace and adding a backdrop to the story as it progresses… ending up with a Post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc-palace™️ in the end?

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When I think about the link method I imagine you are linking things such as the images. The second option makes a place, puts an image(or images) inside this place and then does any linking between images (if you want) ,then repeats this to the next loci.

So you are still having the place which is a loci inside your memory palace, you are just populating it before you have the next loci available. The difference between my first option and the second one is in the first one you make a few more places before you start populating any of them, then proceed to populate all of them before making new places again.

My scale of what is a loci is also kind of ‘inside a room the room itself’ rather than a wall unless you were minimised.

My definition of a memory palace also matches that of a memory journey.


IT’s ok. Videogames are a great source, you get familiar with paths as you play and there’s an emotional charge. Open environment videogames are good options. Here’s an example https://youtu.be/O2fjWvuMrAQ?t=95

My favorites franchises are Neverwinter nights, Half-life, KOTOR, SWOT, Elders scrolls, Assassin’s Creed, Thief, Fable, The witcher, CS, Team Fortress.

Edit: There’s a Virtual Reality Skyrim!!


About a month ago, I was thinking about virtual memory palaces. I decided to make a little drawing of a building that I could use to memorise things.

I spent about ten minutes doodling a small dome-shaped building with various location spots and then forgot about it. Reading this thread reminded me of it. Despite not seeing the sketch for over a month, I still remember every detail.
Makes me wonder if I could make my own virtual palaces. Perhaps I should try a bigger building and see if it sticks too.


We’ve had this convo at least 4 times in the last couple of months. Pardon me if my response is repetitive.

Many people use virtual places partly because its nice to have a dedicated palace for a particular purpose and also because you can customize the structure to the data and be more efficient.

You can do the whole thing ‘virtualy’ or you can make some kind of model. @Maya uses her game software to build Palaces.


Some do sketches. This is my favorite. I like any excuse to fool with my pencils so it’s fun for me but more importantly, the engagement with the drawing will fix the image very firmly and review is very quick.

Here is my Palace for the JavaScript Object
As I say everytime I show this, color would be an asset but for various reasons, I don’t draw in color.

There’s no need to draw anything - one can cut and paste Clip Art, print out and mark up an existing image, make a collage, use a simple editing program. No drawing skill is required.

There are also physical models. I have a friend who makes marvelous little houses with furniture all out of carboard and balsa wood. Which brings up the Lukasa introduced here by @LynneKelly. This thread has a lot of material in it.