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Joshua Foer says that one past memory champion developed a technique to remember more than 4,000 binary digits in half an hour. (James Duncan Davidson)

Can Anyone Learn To Be A Master Memorizer?

by NPR/TED Staff
May 24, 2013 (TED Radio Hour)

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Joshua Foer on the TED Stage

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NPR/TED Staff

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Memory Games.

About Joshua Foer's TEDTalk

Some people can memorize thousands of numbers, the names of dozens of strangers or the precise order of cards in a shuffled deck. Science writer and U.S. Memory Champion Joshua Foer shows how anyone can become a memory virtuoso, including him.

About Joshua Foer

In 2005, science writer Joshua Foer went to cover the U.S. Memory Championship. A year later he was back — as a contestant. A year of mental training with Europe's top memorizer turned into a book, Moonwalking with Einstein, which is both a chronicle of his immersion in the memory culture and an informative introduction to the science of memory.

Much more surprisingly, that year of training also turned into a first-place victory at the national competition in New York and the chance to represent the U.S. at the World Memory Championship. Foer's writing has appeared in National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times and other publications. He is also the co-founder of the Atlas Obscura, an online guide to the world's wonders and curiosities, and the design competition Sukkah City.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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