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The many applications of memory

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Ron White, 2009 U.S.A. Memory Champion, speaking to journalists about his memory techniques after winning the title. (Photo by Ryan Auer)

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The USA Memory Championships drew a record number of entrants this year. Using fairly simple techniques, competitors perform miraculous tasks, tasks which seem more miraculous considering how hard it is these days just to remember one’s own telephone number. While more are drawn to memory contests than ever, experts remain skeptical of whether techniques used in competition can be applied in everyday life.