The Self Enhancing Master Memory Matrix, or SEM3 as it’s known, is a system for indexing ‘memory slots’ in your memory where you may place any item you wish to remember. Tony Buzan came up with the system in the 1970′s when he published a book called ‘Use Your Head’, which was an introduction to the brain and how it works. This book has been likened to an instruction manual for your brain as it contains a number of systems for using your full suite of cognitive features more effectively. Tony Buzan was also the man who invented mind maps and spider diagrams as a means of recording data in an associated system.
The idea of the various memory systems he wrote about is that of combining left and right brain function to create sensory memory ‘hooks’ on which to hang your information. These hooks are like fixed pigeon holes in which you may place your data, confident in the knowledge that the memory hook is indexed, organised and fixed in mind, so the various items placed ‘in’ this pigeon hole will remain fixed. In order to create a good memory hook you must use all your sense in imagining the mental image associated with the hook, so for a pigeon hook of a bun, you must imagine the feel, smell, taste and look of the object.
The SEM3 is a ‘Major’ system of memory and learning. This system uses phonetic numerical replacement to codify index numbers into mental images like so:
0 – Hard S / Z
1 – D or T
2 – N
3 – M
4 – R
5 – L
6 – Soft S, CH, soft G, soft J
7 – Hard C, K, hard G, hard J, QU
8 – F or V
9 – B or P
Vowels and H,W,X,Y are all wild cards that can be used to create number words. So for example, the first ten numbers in the SEM3 system are Saw,Day,Noah,Ma,Ra,Law,Jaw,Key,Fee,Bay.
The next ten memory hooks would use two numbers, and so two numbers, producing a words like: DaZe,DaD,DaN,DaM,DaLe,DaiRy,DaSH,DeCK,DaFFy,DaB.
By learning this system you can easily come to the memory hook word just through deduction alone which would then trigger the mental image associated with this word.
This system is excellent for memorising items you want, especially if you attach multiple items together, such as a persons name, their birthday and telephone numbers.
Next post we’ll look further at memory systems and their practical uses and we’ll also demonstrate an easy system to memorise ten items and recall them in any order. Sounds easy? Try it now, then come back and try tomorrows system!