This experiment happend all day during the “Human Interactive Conference” on 6th November in NAB at Goldsmiths University of London.
Based on the Method of Loci mnemotechnic, the following experiment is a set of 3 different 3D virtual environment (3DVE) used to remember a sequence of twelveplaying cards. Each 3DVE proposes different architecture styles. Each style shows specific characteristics that will help us to understand what enhanced the way the user is remembering. As the average memory (digit) span for normal adult is 7 plus or minus 2 (ref to “The Magical Number Seven” G.A. Miller) we will be using twelve cards to avoid using short term memory. The main point of the experiment is to activate long term memory through the association between space, images (existing memories) and playing cards.
Here is a brief description of the procedure:
1) Warm up (2min)
You have the opportunity to familiarise with the set up and discover the 3D Virtual Environment (3DVE). By navigating that space for a couple of minutes you should be able to memorise it effortlessly.
2) Encoding (10min)
You have 10 minutes to remember a random sequence of twelve playing cards given one by one at the top of the screen. To get the next card, you have to associate the current one with an image on a screen. Choose an image from a collection of images organised in 5 categories: animal, action, landscape, people and theme. The method is to use any associative trigger – it can be shapes, numbers, colours, metaphorical or allegorical, what ever memories it evokes – you can find between the image and the playing card. You can then imagine a story in your mind following those images along your way through the space. That story, guided by the surrounding will help you to remember to right sequence of image, each one, associated with a playing card.
3) Consolidation (2min)
When done associating all the cards, take a couple of minutes to revisit the space and consolidate your memories. Then get out of the memory palace.
4) Retrieving (3min)
You will be presented with a restitution board (webpage) which will show you the twelve playing cards in order. By walking through the space in your mind’s eye, give the sequence back by dropping the playing card in the empty slots. The experiment will end with a score showing the result. This last phase should be repeated 5 times to check how strong the memories are: next day, next week, next month and a year later.
If you want more information about this experiment, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org