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Episode 11 – World Memory Champion Alex Mullen

What we dived into

[02:20] Alex talks about how long he has been competing, his background and how he started.

[05:00] Discussion on the main memory techniques Alex uses, and why they work.

[07:27] Alex talks through the memory palace technique, how to encode lots of detail, and the importance of reviewing. Alex guides our listeners through an example in real time.

[13:48] Active recall, AnkiApp and why it’s more efficient to create images.

[16:52] examples what he would or would not create a memory palace (memory image) for and the ways to use memory palaces correctly.

[20:58]  Dr Meyer asks Alex how he keeps track of all his memory palaces, how Alex uses palaces for competition

[26:58] Alex talks about how he tries to keep memory palaces separate.

[28:21] Alex on it being fine to use other people’s images if it works for, on and crowdsourcing mnemonics

[31:53] Dr Meyer asks Alex how long it takes to get started with these memory techniques

[35:05] Alex on how reviewing is the key to making memories stick.

[36:50] When you no longer need a palace – transitioning from the palace to your memory.

[38:29] AJ asks Alex about real life applications of memory techniques, how to use these techniques to remember names and faces.

[45:11] Alex talks about how he remembers large amounts of numbers for competition

[51:07] Alex talks about what got him into medicine and his plans for the future

[53:32] Joos asks Alex how memory competitions work – who are the competitors and the crowd?

[58:32] Joos asks Alex how he trains for competition, a system for memorizing cards and moonwalking with einstein

[63:00] Alex talks about the countries who dominate, the growing popularity in the USA, Australia lagging behind and how the ranking system works

[65:55] Alex goes through the exercise for from earlier, to see if the audience remembers

PRYMD Fast Five

  1. Check out Alex’s website for free memory training
  2.  Read Moonwalking with Einstein by J.Foer
  3.  Head over to the Art of Memory website
  4. Check out for even more memory training
  5. If you’re interested in learning languages, consider using Memrise


Top Tweetables

  1. “Human visual and spatial memories are a lot stronger than our memories for abstract things” – Alex Mullen
  2. “If you can picture something in your mind it can stick better” – Alex Mullen
  3. “You don’t want to be memorizing everything – that’s a pretty bad way to learn” – Alex Mullen



Written by Alex James

Alex James

Alex James is a student doctor and one of our PRYMD Radio hosts. Approaching the 10,000-hour mark studying and working in the medical field in Australia, Alex joined PRYMD out of a burning desire to act upstream to the coal face, ‘band aid fix medicine’ that has become a large part of modern Western medical care.

Passionate about preventative health and high performance medicine, Alex aims to contribute to the goal of many others in fighting against the epidemic of metabolic disease, improving youth mental wellbeing and optimising medical literacy across the World. Alex surfs and noodles on the guitar on the side for relaxation, uses the gym for winding down after a hectic day at the hospital and has made it halfway to his goal of immersing himself in at least 40 countries by 40 to broaden his horizons and escape the hedonic treadmill inherent within the Western healthcare microcosm.

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