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ERIC Number: EJ860158
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Superior Self-Paced Memorization of Digits in Spite of a Normal Digit Span: The Structure of a Memorist's Skill
Hu, Yi; Ericsson, K. Anders; Yang, Dan; Lu, Chao
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v35 n6 p1426-1442 Nov 2009
Over the last century many individuals with exceptional memory have been studied and tested in the laboratory. This article studies Chao Lu, who set a Guinness World Record by memorizing 67,890 decimals of pi. Chao Lu's superior self-paced memorization of digits is shown through analyses of study times and verbal reports to be mediated by mnemonic encoding and retrieval processes. Furthermore, Chao Lu's development of his superior memory for decimals of pi is consistent with his engagement in thousands of hours of memorization. In contrast to most other studied memorists, who have digit spans over 15 digits, Chao Lu exhibited a digit span in only the normal range. Implications for different types of memorization skills and associated practice activities are discussed. (Contains 7 tables and 2 figures.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A