Official 45 Task 3

Method of Loci

Special techniques, or memory devices, are often used to help us recall information. One technique, the method of loci (i.e., method of location), is particularly helpful for remembering several pieces of information in a particular order. To use this technique, we first imagine a familiar place such as a building or an outdoor area. This familiar place should have a series of landmarks or locations within it that we can imagine walking past in a predictable, logical order. Once the landmarks have been identified in a given order, we assign one piece of the information that we want to later recall to each location. The information should be assigned in the order in which we want to remember it. To later recall the new information in order, we imagine walking through the familiar place, recalling what is stored at each location along the way.

Narrator: Now listen to part of a lecture on this topic.
Professor: So, how would this work?
Well, let's say you need to learn the names of the planets in order by distance from the sun.
So first, think about the landmarks you pass as you walk from,
say, your dormitory to the student center.
The first one might be the front door of your dormitory,
then, the big tree in front of the door.
The next landmark you pass might be the statue in front of the library.
Next, the steps to the science building.
you get the idea.
You memorize the major points along the walk.
Imagining yourself going from the first landmark to the second, the third and so on.
Now, the next thing you do is assign one planet to each of your landmarks in sequence.
Since Mercury is the closest planet to the sun,
you would assign it to the first landmark,
the front door of your dorm.
The next planet, Venus, to the tree in front of the door.
The third planet, Earth,
you assign to the third landmark, the statue in front of the library,
and so on and so on.
And each time you picture the association in your mind as vividly as possible.
Then, later, to say you're sitting in the classroom taking a test,
and you have to write the order of the planets from the sun.
What do you do ?
You imagine yourself on that familiar walk to the student center,
passing each landmark as usual.
When you think about walking out the door of your dorm,
you're reminded of mercury.
When you see the beautiful tree in front of the dorm,
you think of Venus.
At each landmark along the way,
you recall the next planet and write it down.
Using the professor’s example, explain how the method of loci is used to recall information in sequence.