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The philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz adopted an alphabet very similar to that of Wennsshein for his scheme of a form of writing common to all languages. Wennsshein's method was adopted with slight changes afterward by the majority of subsequent "original" systems. It was modified and supplemented by Richard Grey , a priest who published a Memoria technica in The principal part of Grey's method is briefly this:.

To remember anything in history , chronology , geography , etc. Thus, in history, the Deluge happened in the year before Christ two thousand three hundred forty-eight; this is signified by the word Del- etok , Del standing for Deluge and etok for His method is comparable to the Hebrew system by which letters also stand for numerals, and therefore words for dates. To assist in retaining the mnemonical words in the memory, they were formed into memorial lines.

Such strange words in difficult hexameter scansion, are by no means easy to memorise.


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The vowel or consonant , which Grey connected with a particular figure, was chosen arbitrarily. A later modification was made in Gregor von Feinaigle , a German monk from Salem near Constance. While living and working in Paris , he expounded a system of mnemonics in which as in Wennsshein the numerical figures are represented by letters chosen due to some similarity to the figure or an accidental connection with it. This alphabet was supplemented by a complicated system of localities and signs. Feinaigle, who apparently did not publish any written documentation of this method, travelled to England in The following year one of his pupils published The New Art of Memory , giving Feinaigle's system.

In addition, it contains valuable historical material about previous systems. Other mnemonists later published simplified forms, as the more complicated menemonics were generally abandoned. Methods founded chiefly on the so-called laws of association cf. Mental association were taught with some success in Germany. A wide range of mnemonics are used for several purposes.

The most commonly used mnemonics are those for lists, numerical sequences, foreign-language acquisition, and medical treatment for patients with memory deficits. A common mnemonic for remembering lists is to create an easily remembered acronym, or, taking each of the initial letters of the list members, create a memorable phrase in which the words with the same acronym as the material.

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Mnemonic techniques can be applied to most memorisation of novel materials. Mnemonic phrases or poems can be used to encode numeric sequences by various methods, one common one is to create a new phrase in which the number of letters in each word represents the according digit of pi. For example, the first 15 digits of the mathematical constant pi 3. Piphilology is the practice dedicated to creating mnemonics for pi. Begin by holding out both hands with all fingers stretched out. Now count left to right the number of fingers that indicates the multiple.

Bend this finger down and count the remaining fingers.

Fingers to the left of the bent finger represent tens, fingers to the right are ones. For remembering the rules in adding and multiplying two signed numbers, Balbuena and Buayan made the letter strategies LAUS like signs, add; unlike signs, subtract and LPUN like signs, positive; unlike signs, negative , respectively.

Mnemonics may be helpful in learning foreign languages, for example by transposing difficult foreign words with words in a language the learner knows already, also called "cognates" which are very common in the Spanish language. A useful such technique is to find linkwords , words that have the same pronunciation in a known language as the target word, and associate them visually or auditorially with the target word. Another Spanish example is by using the mnemonic " Vin Diesel Has Ten Weapons" to teach irregular command verbs in the you form.

Spanish verb forms and tenses are regularly seen as the hardest part of learning the language. With a high number of verb tenses, and many verb forms that are not found in English, Spanish verbs can be hard to remember and then conjugate. The use of mnemonics has been proven to help students better learn foreign languages, and this holds true for Spanish verbs.

A particularly hard verb tense to remember is command verbs. Command verbs in Spanish are conjugated differently depending on who the command is being given to. This mnemonic helps students attempting to memorize different verb tenses. An example here is to remember the Spanish word for "foot," pie, [pee-ay] with the image of a foot stepping on a pie, which then spills blue filling blue representing the male gender of the noun in this example.

Mnemonics can be used in aiding patients with memory deficits that could be caused by head injuries , strokes , epilepsy , multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions. In a study conducted by Doornhein and De Haan, the patients were treated with six different memory strategies including the mnemonics technique.

The results concluded that there were significant improvements on the immediate and delayed subtest of the RBMT, delayed recall on the Appointments test, and relatives rating on the MAC from the patients that received mnemonics treatment. However, in the case of stroke patients, the results did not reach statistical significance.

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Academic study of the use of mnemonics has shown their effectiveness. In one such experiment, subjects of different ages who applied mnemonic techniques to learn novel vocabulary outperformed control groups that applied contextual learning and free-learning styles. Mnemonics vary in effectiveness for several groups ranging from young children to the elderly. Mnemonic learning strategies require time and resources by educators to develop creative and effective devices.

The most simple and creative mnemonic devices usually are the most effective for teaching. In the classroom, mnemonic devices must be used at the appropriate time in the instructional sequence to achieve their maximum effectiveness. Mnemonics were seen to be more effective for groups of people who struggled with or had weak long-term memory , like the elderly.

Five years after a mnemonic training study, a research team followed-up community-dwelling older adults, 60 years of age and over.

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Delayed recall of a word list was assessed prior to, and immediately following mnemonic training, and at the 5-year follow-up. Overall, there was no significant difference between word recall prior to training and that exhibited at follow-up. However, pre-training performance gains scores in performance immediately post-training and use of the mnemonic predicted performance at follow-up.

Individuals who self-reported using the mnemonic exhibited the highest performance overall, with scores significantly higher than at pre-training. The findings suggest that mnemonic training has long-term benefits for some older adults, particularly those who continue to employ the mnemonic.

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In humans, the process of aging particularly affects the medial temporal lobe and hippocampus , in which the episodic memory is synthesized. The episodic memory stores information about items, objects, or features with spatiotemporal contexts. Since mnemonics aid better in remembering spatial or physical information rather than more abstract forms, its effect may vary according to a subject's age and how well the subject's medial temporal lobe and hippocampus function.

This could be further explained by one recent study which indicates a general deficit in the memory for spatial locations in aged adults mean age At first, the difference in target recognition was not significant. The researchers then divided the aged adults into two groups, aged unimpaired and aged impaired, according to a neuropsychological testing. With the aged groups split, there was an apparent deficit in target recognition in aged impaired adults compared to both young adults and aged unimpaired adults.

This further supports the varying effectiveness of mnemonics in different age groups.

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Moreover, a different research was done previously with the same notion, which presented with similar results to that of Reagh et al. Studies notably " The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two " have suggested that the short-term memory of adult humans can hold only a limited number of items; grouping items into larger chunks such as in a mnemonic might be part of what permits the retention of a larger total amount of information in short-term memory, which in turn can aid in the creation of long-term memories.

The dictionary definition of mnemonic at Wiktionary. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Any learning technique that aids information retention or retrieval remembering in the human memory. With the expanding European empires, the number system spread throughout the West, substituting local number systems such as those found in Latin America.


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  4. The Indo-Arabic numerical system is still used today and is the base of significant scientific development and universal mathematics. Even when there are some exceptions in the way to form them, their construction follows rules that will allow students to learn them easily. Login Register. Numbers in Spanish Spanish numbers belong to an Indo-Arabic based decimal system, although the history of the number system is much more ancient.