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Hints On Memory Techniques

This section covers a few general hints on the use of memory systems:

1. One-Way or Two-Way links
Bear in mind that in some cases you may want the link to work both ways - for example if you are using a peg system (e.g. number/rhyme) to link 2 to Henry VIII, you may not want to always link Henry VIII with the number 2 (i.e. the opposite way across the link).

If, however, you are linking the word the French word 'chien' with the English word 'dog', you will want to ensure that the link runs in the opposite direction - i.e. that the English word 'dog' links with the French word 'chien'.

2. Remember to use location to separate similar mnemonics
By setting an application of a memory system in one location and clearly using that location as a background, you can easily separate it from a different application of the same memory system set in a different place.

3. Why mnemonics might fail
Typically you may forget things that you have coded with mnemonics if the images are not vivid enough, or if the images you are using do not have enough meaning or strength for you to feel comfortable with.

Try changing the images used to more potent ones, and read the section on Using Mnemonics more Effectively.

4. Retrieving lost information
You may find that you need to remember information that has either been lost because part of a mnemonic was not properly coded, or that simply was not placed into a mnemonic. To try to recall the information, try the following approaches:

In your mind run through the period when you coded the information, carried out the action, or viewed the thing to be remembered. Reconstructing events like this might trigger associations that help you to retrieve the information.
If the lost information was part of a list, review the other items in the list. These may be linked in some way to the forgotten item, or even if unlinked their positions in the list may offer a different cue to retrieve the information.
If you have any information such as general shape or purpose, try to reconstruct the information from this.
If all the above have failed, take your mind off the subject and concentrate on something else completely. Often the answer will just 'pop into your mind', as your subconscious has worked away on retrieving the information, or something you have been working on sparks an association.

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