Linking Memory and Peg Memory – What’s the Difference?

I’ve explained in an earlier post what linking memory is and how it helps to develop the right brain’s memory function, but I have noticed that there are different types of linking memory exercises used in right brain training.  I’ll try to explain them here.  To differentiate two of the different styles of playing linking memory, I have called them sequential linking memory and random linking memory.  “Sequential” and “random” are my own terms.  The third method is called Peg Memory.

Sequential Linking Memory

Sequential linking memory is when you use the same cards in the same order with the same story over and over.  The aim is to practice until you can remember all the cards in the correct order.  In Wink, the aim is to remember all 300 cards.  In Shichida, the aim is to remember all 1000 cards (or so I’ve been told).  I’ve started collecting my own series of 1000 linking cards which I am compiling on powerpoint.  I’ll post them up soon.

In Heguru, they do two types of linking memory – peg memory and random linking memory.

Peg Memory

Peg memory is a system of remembering things using numbers and images.  For instance:

21 – toothpaste
22 – train
23 – double chin
24 – flower
25 – dragonfly
26 – tweezers
27 – vegetables
28 – twins
29 – fish
30 – can opener

In Heguru, they teach the children ten peg numbers for a few weeks before moving onto the next ten.  To help the children remember the order of the pictures, they use linking memory.  For example, I was brushing my teeth with toothpaste on a train when I saw a man with a double chin.  He was wearing a flower that attracted a dragonfly.  I caught the dragonfly with a pair of tweezers and put it into some vegetables for the twins to eat with their fish.  The fish was stuck in a tin so I needed a can opener.

I talked to Heguru about the 1000 flashcards and they said that the Peg memory was their equivalent.  I didn’t really understand the purpose of peg memory and why you would want to associate specific pictures with specific numbers until I read about it.  However, from what I can understand about the purpose of peg memory, I still can’t see how that connects with the peg memory system being taught in Heguru.  You can read more about this in my peg memory post.

Random Linking Memory

With random linking memory, you change the cards, order and story every time you play the game.  For instance, if you were using a random deck of 52 cards, you would shuffle the cards, open them and make up a story to connect the cards.  The next time you play the game again, you would shuffle the cards again and start a new story.

Heguru believes it is important to do both types of linking memory – random and sequential – because each activity develops the right brain differently.

Shichida, Heguru, Right Brain Education


  1. *blush* Thank you Suzanne. I try, but feel I fall short in many ways.

    I learned all this through reading, talking to friends, through my own experiences… When I first started trying to understand right brain education, there was not a lot available on it. Now it is better – more books, more information available.

    We are going through Peg memory again at Heguru and I can see what you mean – the similar “sounds” of the words and the numbers. It certainly makes it easier to remember! Thank you!

  2. hi, Shen-Li,

    You must be a Great Great Mum!!

    Thank you for sharing all sorts of right brain training method and the differences between them. How come u get to know all this? U read a lot / from friends / from ur own experience?

    Maybe i can help a bit in Peg Memory.. Heguru using Peg Memory (number and picture). They are trying to link up the picture with number by using same ‘sounds’ of the number. I realize this when i read from a book. like;

    21 – toothpaste
    22 – train
    n so forth.. u try to link up with the sound of the number!

    Hope this helps 🙂

  3. Thanks, Belle! I’m glad you’ve found it useful. Actually, I wrote this post quite some time back. According to the Shichida book, you should try to flash 100 cards a day and slowly increase the number over time. At Shichida, they recommend parents to flash 150 cards a day. If your child cannot pay attention for the whole session, break it up. E.g. 50 cards per session, three times a day. Never repeat the same set of cards within the day, but you can flash the same set again the next day. At the talk from Heguru, Mrs Henmi says flash each set 4 times, then retire. Flash as quickly as you can comfortably do so without feeling stressed because your mood will affect your child.

    The idea behind flashcards is to enhance the right brain. Flashing the cards quickly is like exercise for the right brain. So the aim is not so much getting them to remember the cards, but to develop the right brain. I hope that makes sense. What you want to do is expand the brain’s capacity and that’s what flashing the cards does. Makoto Shichida stressed that it is more important to have quantity than quality and you want to flash pictures because the right brain is an image brain.

  4. belle says:

    hi, Shen Li,

    jz follow ur website,
    thanks for sharing, the info are useful!!

    u mentioned mum can flash cards to child for 60 cards a day, so in a year can achieve 20000 cards.

    my question is,

    we show the card each card once only, bb can remember?



  5. I think the problem with Heguru is that a lot of the things they do are not explained so we don’t know what is going on – why they do x, y, z, etc. and not a, b, c. For some people the why isn’t important, but for me, I find I need to understand.

  6. Jade says:

    Thanks for sharing this info. Now only i know the one teach in Heguru is actually Random Linking Memory. Since i read about the Shichida is doing the Sequential Linking Memory, that’s why i thought the method used in Heguru is wrong. Anyhow, i personally think that random linking memory is a bit difficult compare to the sequential linking memory since it always changed the story.


  1. […] the method for teaching Peg Memory is similar to Linking Memory, the purpose of peg memory is somewhat different.  Linking Memory helps you to remember a list of […]

  2. […] home practice, I have been working with Gavin on the random linking memory activity. He was starting to get a little bored with the activity so I threw in a few dinosaurs and […]

  3. […] have written about the three different ways you can do linking memory with your child – peg memory, sequential linking memory, and random linking memory. Personally, I prefer to do the random linking memory activity because I feel it requires more […]

  4. […] practiced the activity with Gavin for some time, I felt that there was more value practicing a random linking memory activity than the sequential linking memory activity. I feel that random linking memory requires […]

  5. […] Sequential Linking Memory (my own term) […]