learning technique that aids information retention
The art of memory (Latin: ars memoriae) is any of a number of loosely associated mnemonic principles and techniques used to organize memory impressions, improve recall, and assist in the combination and 'invention' of ideas. An alternative and frequently used term is "Ars Memorativa" which is also often translated as "art of memory" although its more literal meaning is "Memorative Art". It is sometimes referred to as mnemotechnics. It is an 'art' in the Aristotelian sense, which is to say a method or set of prescriptions that adds order and discipline to the pragmatic, natural activities of human beings. It has existed as a recognized group of principles and techniques since at least as early as the middle of the first millennium BCE, and was usually associated with training in rhetoric or logic, but variants of the art were employed in other contexts, particularly the religious and the magical.
Techniques commonly employed in the art include the association of emotionally striking memory images within visualized locations, the chaining or association of groups of images, the association of images with schematic graphics or notae ("signs, markings, figures" in Latin), and the association of text with images. Any or all of these techniques were often used in combination with the contemplation or study of architecture, books, sculpture and painting, which were seen by practitioners of the art of memory as externalizations of internal memory images and/or organization.
Because of the variety of principles and techniques, and their various applications, some researchers refer to "the arts of memory", rather than to a single art.
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