Saturday, January 9, 2010

Knowble's Photographic Memory (Techniques based on Greek Science Mnemonics)


Knowble's Photographic Memory
“You Must Remember This”, a teacher always finish a lesson with this note and expect students to remember, but unconsciously forget to tell them “HOW”.
Now, “Knowble Photographic Memory” based on Mnemonic Techniques is the answer to this question.
Do you remember, “Pandit Badri Prasad, Har Har Bole” mentioned in Trigonometry chapter in NCERT books? Those memory tools, or mnemonics, have helped kids memorize and recall mathematical operations for decades. Today, researchers say that using mnemonics to help students “file” information more effectively makes it possible for them to retrieve the material more easily.
What is Memory? How does it work? Can Memory be increased? If yes, then how?
So many questions arise in one’s mind when we start talking about Memory. The topic itself is very intriguing for any person, young or old, male or a female, student or a businessman. But, it holds lot of importance especially for all Teachers and Students, who always are face to face with the issue of ‘Memorizing’, let it be anything from their syllabus: a short answer, a long answer, anything in points, names, places, history dates, geography maps and so much more. Other than Students, even adults, either in a job or in Business, are depending on external sources to remember things like appointments, phone numbers and important tasks etc, just because they are not confident of their own memory or are afraid of forgetting!
As Humans, we all are blessed with a brain, which scientifically has been proven to have immense potential. All the gadgets, or computers on which we so confidently depend upon to remember our appointments or phone numbers etc, are designed and developed by none other than Humans! Then why can’t we be confident of our own brains? What makes it seem difficult to memorize anything or something in particular? Why some people are able to memorize things better and quicker than others? Actually, it is nothing else other than the lack of knowledge of how to put your Memory power in proper use.
Imagine a Room, where you keep your things, but always in a random order. After some time, if you need to find a thing in that room, you will need to spend a lot of time and energy to locate that particular item, OR you may even have to turn the room upside down and still give up because you can’t locate it. But, in a Library, where there are thousands of books, why, to find a book, it takes least effort and time? Just because the books are kept in a certain order and each book has a reference card which mentions its right location on the shelves.
Memory is quite similar to the above example: you keep on dumping information, later you may have to face a lot of problem in recalling that information, and you may even end up saying that you have forgotten. But, if you store the information in an organized manner, with proper references and links, recalling that information, when needed, will not take much effort or time.

So, how does Memory work?
First of all, we need to understand that how does information even enter our memory? To understand this in a better way, we can take an example of a computer. A computer has a memory but only that information can be stored in its memory that is being entered into the computer through an Input source. In case of a computer, an Input source could be a Keyboard.
Similarly, in our case, only that information can only be memorized which has been ‘entered’ through an Input source. Our Input Sources are none other than our Five Senses: Vision, Touch, Hear, Taste and Smell. There are no other ways or means to input any sort of information!
Out of these senses also, there are few senses that are strong sources of entering information and there are some that are not so strong. For example, you may have experienced it many times that you see a person and you are able to recognize the face as you have seen that person somewhere, but are not able to recall his or her name! This is because the nerves going from the eyes to the brain are 20 times stronger than the nerves going from ears to the brain. Hence, the signal sent by the eyes are 20 times stronger than the signals sent by the ears, so you may forget the name that you heard but you may not forget the face that you saw!! The impact of an Image, which is 3-dimensional, colorful and moving, is stronger than the impact of a sound.
There are a couple of other factors also that influence the intensity of the information going to the brain. For example, if the same person, whose name you have forgotten, would have introduced himself when you met him as, “Hi, I am Pressure Cooker Singh”, then for sure, even after a very long period, you would have not forgotten his name. So, what is so different that made this signal from ear to brain equally strong as the signal from eye to the brain? It is – the “Funny” element of the information! This element of the information makes it very interesting and, by default, attracts lots of attention of your mind. So this external element helps the brain to accept and retain this information in a better way in comparison to other information that it would have heard.
Other than ‘Fun’ element, there is another element that helps the brain to retain information in a better way and for a longer period, and that is ‘Emotion’. Taking another example to explain this, lets try to remember what were we doing exactly a year ago on the same day. When did we wake up, what did we wear, what did we eat for lunch, where did we go and who we met on that day? Is it easy to recall all this information? I am sure the answer would be ‘NO’! In other case, if I ask you the same questions but instead of an year ago, you have to answer these questions about the day it was your last Birthday, or maybe last Diwali, Holi, or even your marriage anniversary? Would it be easier to answer then? Even after 20 years of your marriage, you will be able to answer all the above questions in regards to your marriage day! Amazing? Maybe…., but that’s exactly where the Emotional strength/attachment of these days has made the difference in remembering everything in such detail. And it’s not only the happy or positive emotions that helps strengthen the memory of related information. Even the sad emotions have equal effect, as you will see that you remember the same things equally well for any day when you experienced anything sad or unfortunate.

Application of Mnemonic Techniques:
Mnemonics is highly applicable in memorizing any information.
·         As a student it helps you in memorizing and recalling any related content, like history dates, periodic tables, chemical equations, mathematical formulae, countries and their capitals, inventions and their inventors, books and their authors, any chronological list, geography maps, biological names, learning a new language, enhancing vocabulary…
·         As a professional it helps in memorizing and recalling list of meetings, contact numbers, names of associates, email ids etc.
Mnemonic Techniques become more effective when the nature of content is abstract and size of content is huge. Many students have used Mnemonic Techniques in clearing competitive examinations like IAS/ICS, Engineering Entrance Examinations, Pre Medical Tests, CAT, XAT, GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, GATE or any sort of entrance examination. Individuals like Dr. Michaela Karsten, Dominic O’Brien, Biswaroop Roy Chaudhary, Ravi Shankar Godara have got their names registered in Guinness Book of World Records using these Mnemonic Techniques only. Even thousands of students have got their names noted in academic circles by memorizing almost impossible contents again by using the same techniques.

Some Examples of Mnemonic Techniques:

Some mnemonic tools based on the technique of letter strategy (using acronyms and acrostics) are "oldies but goodies" that teachers recall from their own school days. Here are a few that "every good student" should remember!

  • VIBGYOR: the colors in the spectrum of visible light in order: violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red (that’s a very common example of acronym method, which we all have used)

  • My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas: the nine planets in order: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto

  • King Philip Came Over For Good Soup/Spaghetti: the taxonomic categories in biology: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species

  • BHAJSA: the chronological list of Mughal Emperors: Babar, Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shahjehan and Aurangzeb.

List of Methods used in Knowble Photographic Memory:

Chain Method
To memorise information structured in long lists.
Rhyme Codes/ Shape Codes
To memorise all sort of lists with higher precision and objective type answers with points.
Acronym/Acrostic Method
To memorise information structured with names in chronological order, like Prime Ministers of India, Mathematical Correlations, Dynasties, Scientific Terminology, Properties of elements, Legal Laws etc.
PMS (Personal Meaning System)
To memorise information with “one to one” format, like countries & their capitals, books and their authors, inventions and their inventors, vocabulary enhancement, memorizing new language etc.
Map Grid System
To memorise all sort of geographical maps.
Phonetic Method
To memorise all information structured with numbers, like history dates and events, periodic table, mathematical tables and formulae
Submarine Method
To memorise information with subjective nature, like theory with illustrations and long answers.

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We at Advacad Solutions are dedicated to the cause of devising new-age solutions to strengthen the delivery of academic features through all possible channels. Knowble is a product from the house of Advacad Solutions backed by its intensive research and expertise in this field. In Knowble, we attempt to enable a child with exemplary mental power with our well proven methods. Here we aim to strengthen a child’s faculties of Imagination, Visualization and Rationalization, that’s what we call strengthening the “potential to learn and know” or “ability of knowledge”.

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