Friday, 15 February 2008

memory testing

This week has been very busy for us at Hoffi, we have been working on some work for Academi and also Care Council for Wales. As well as this I managed to pop out to a seminar run by Precedent, I was hoping to catch up with them after the seminar but they were swamped with people wanting there attention, I think I will drop them an email.

The seminar was about a number of items broadly around the idea of web design. It was very interesting to hear people give their particular point of view on a subject, but one of the things that really stood out for me was a small piece with the presentation about memory, it has been widely publicised how it maybe possible to increase your memory through visualizing a journey which helps attach a fact to an image or movement, one of the more common examples is memorizing a deck of cards. I think the record is held by a British man called Dominic O'Brien with something like 2,800 cards memorized. He memorises cards by going on a journey and along that journey he ties the cards into the journey, then when asked to recall the cards he retraces his steps and so finds the cards. 

During the seminar there was an example of medieval book design and the theory was that the illustration of the page and the interaction of the illuminated letters and the general 'content text' allows you to recall the story through the visual association, it was concluded that through this technique people had been able to recall a vast number of books, many more than any of us can today. While there is an obvious need to be able to do this back then, due to books being expensive and unlikely to be easily accessible, it is interesting how this technique works. From here it made me think about some of the most memorable memories I have had in my life, I was trying to see is it just visual recall that sets us off?

I came to think about  a few weeks ago, I have recently moved into a new area of Cardiff and am still finding my way around, but as I was walking down one of the streets near my house, I walked past a small corner shop (although it really wasn't on the corner), as I walked past I was instantly struck by the smell coming from the store and it instantly transported me back to memories I had of going into the corner shop I used to pass when I was walking back from school. The smell had instantly allowed me to access this memory. 

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