Brain Scans Reveal The Powerful Memory Techniques of Memory Champions, Greek Philosophers, and SuperLearners with Jonathan Levi

February 15, 2018
In this episode we discuss becoming a SuperLearner. We dig into questions that I’ve pondered for a long time - does speed reading work? Can we actually speed read and increase our reading comprehension? Are there strategies you can use to improve your memory? And perhaps most importantly - how can we align the way we think, learn, and remember with the way our brains actually operate? We go into this and more with our guest Jonathan Levi.
 
Jonathan Levi is an author, learning expert, and founder of Super Human Enterprises. He is the author of the book Become a SuperLearner and has helped over 120,000 students improve their learning methodology through his online courses. He has been featured on the TED Stage and his work has been published in Inc. Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and more.
 
  • How Jonathan went from a “troubled student” to a learning and memory expert
  • Memory strategies from greek philosophers to current day experts - what actually works?
  • What to do if speed reading doesn’t work?
  • You average college graduate reads about 250 wpm, at Jonathan’s peak he was reading 750-800 wpm with 80-90% comprehension
  • Its vital to distinguish between rote memorization and how the memory actually works
  • Most people have no concept of how powerful and effective memory techniques actually are
  • By doing memory work you can change the physical structure and neurochemistry of your brain
  • "Paleo Learning” - Get back to what actually works, from an evolutionary standpoint, with learning strategies
  • Using our brains in the way they are intended to use - aligning our learning with our evolutionary design - creates an huge impact on your learning 
  • The framework of 40 day study with 30 minute sessions per day
  • Strategic memory techniques you can use to improve your memory
  • What FMRI scans reveal about the brains of world memory champions 
  • How these two specific memory techniques could more improve your memory by 135%
  • Short amount of training can impact your brain in a big way
  • Pygmalion effect and the golem effect - people typically conform to the expectations of teachers and leaders 
    • The same thing happens with your ego and your perception of yourself
    • Even if these techniques don’t work for you, they still work for you
    • Your ego’s incentive is always trying to prove you right
  • Lessons from both the hard and soft sciences on how you can improve your memory
  • Our brains are built in clusters / neural networks
  • There are more neurons in your brain than stars in the known universe
  • The human brain is the most complex object known to man
  • The 3 primary strategies for improving your memory
    • Strongest memory effect are SMELL and TASTE - very deeply rooted in your brain
    • Second most effective memory sense is sight - the "Picture superiority effect”
    • Next most powerful is location-based memory
  • Visual memory and location based memory are deeply ingrained in your brain and the keys to unlocking super learning
  • Can you remember what was on your mom’s nightstand when you were a child?
  • Connecting all of your knowledge to preexisting knowledge
  • “Hebb's Law” - Neurons that fire together, wire together
  • Our brains thrive on novelty and newness - our brains are amazing at recognizing patterns and connections
  • Always think of novel and creative imagery to remember things
  • Learning how to use the memory palace technique 
  • Create strange / novel / unique visualizations 
  • Imagining that I get stabbed!?
  • Create a visualization you already have and then connect them - even if they don’t make sense
  • Memory palaces can get jumbled, but they are free, and you will effectively never run out of places / physical spaces
    • You need a different memory palace for each thing you want to plant in there
    • What if you get it wrong?
    • Doesn’t matter as long as its wrong consistently
    • You can use the levels of your favorite video games
    • You can use fictional places / structures - as long as they are the same 
  • Create artificial logic and connections - 
  • Memory palace - go along the outside walls of the room - go clockwise or counter clockwise - up to you
  • LeVeShel - to cook, in Hebrew 
  • What are visual markers and how can you use them to memorize literally anything?
  • How has Jonathan been able to improve retention with speed reading?
  • How does speed reading work and is it actually a hoax?
  • How you can read at 600-800 words per minute and actually increase your retention and comprehension
  • Crash course in speed reading in 30 seconds
    • Minimize back-skipping
    • Minimize Subvocalization
      • You can only listen at 300-400 wpm
  • Jonathan rejects the notion of being an auditory learner -you may get even more out of visual learning strategies 
  • Spaced repetition is a key component of boosting retention
    • Review
    • Pre-reading chapters
00:0000:00