Build a memory palace with a healthy brain


Last updated 1/17/2023 at Noon


Scott Crabtree shared information on brain science and improving memory in a C4C workshop last week.

According to Scott Crabtree, to get the best from our brain we must feed it with nutritious foods and rich information.

In his presentation last Thursday morning at the Sisters Fire District Community Hall, sponsored by Citizens4Community (C4C), Crabtree gave an engaging, information-packed workshop, providing guidelines for better remembering.

He used the visual concept of a “memory palace” in which each room represents one facet of memory assigned a vivid visual aid.

Memories are attached to locations, and Crabtree encourages learning in more than one location to enhance remembering what is being learned.

When trying to remember something, moving your eyes left and right can help activate both hemispheres of the brain, creating a better chance of accessing a particular stored memory.

Exercise (moving) helps retain memories.

The final thing heard is the best memory moment, so save the best for last.

Repetition and picturing what you want to remember helps retain the information.

The brain remembers stories and visualizations connected to things to be remembered, the more vivid the better.

Crabtree’s presentation, which was lively and interactive, is one of a dozen workshops he leads all over the country under the umbrella of the Science of Happiness. He offers the ability to learn how to “gain and retain with less pain.”

Crabtree grew up in upstate New York, graduating from Vassar College. He came to Portland in 1992 to work for Intel as a tech strategist and manager. In 2011, he began his Science of Happiness presentations.

He has a friend who grew up in Sisters with whom he visited here. Five years ago, Sisters became his “favorite place in the world.”

After the COVID-19 shutdown and working virtually, Crabtree realized he didn’t need to live in Portland to do his work, so two years ago he and his wife made the decision to relocate to Sisters. They purchased a home in Tollgate. He now travels one to two times a month for business.

Their two daughters, Zinnia, 10, and Althea, 14, attend Sisters schools. His wife, Sarah, is the librarian at the middle school. Crabtree said the whole family loves it here.

“We are so happy here. I love the nature and fishing on world-class rivers. I hope to die in Sisters,” Crabtree said.

He has become involved in the community, currently serving on the C4C board of directors. More information on the Science of Happiness is available on Crabtree’s website He can be reached at [email protected]


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