Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer is an important book on the dynamics of memory. The author discusses how people commit vast sums of data to memory utilizing a variety of techniques which run the gamut from rote memorization to intuitive or emotional attachment.
For instance, Foer mentions how a poem may be memorized by using intuition or emotional transitions. Some people benefit from daily practice while others savor images to memorize text.
Foer discussed how Ben Pridmore could memorize a shuffled card deck in 32 seconds. Some people memorize by taking snippets of information while others draw a mental picture to take command of large reams of data or text. The author shows how up to 60% of material can be retained in 20 minutes while the same stuff is reduced to 25% retention after a month passes. This is the curve for forgetting.
Another popular technique is to map the memory to structures or objects. For instance, memorizing the words bear, truck and park can be structured
sequentially. Simply visualize a bear in a truck heading for the park.
Some professionals teach memory as a skill. Here, the emphasis is on learning how to learn which involves mastering the process.
William Penfield performed experiments of the temporal lobe which are described at length by Foer. These experiments were directed to long forgotten memories which were important to the subject. Penfield explained how stimulating the temporal lobe could tap into these memories even after the passage of time.
Moonwalking With Einstein is a wonderful book on the dynamics of memory, learning and recall. The author provides many different examples of how people utilize memory to the maximum extent possible through a variety of techniques which involve rote memorization, intuition, compartmentalization, association and other vehicles described at length in the book.