http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/news/pressr ... guals.aspx
I don't know how surprising that this should be. People use all sorts of associative devices to retain information, and we know that inventing a narratives, landscapes, etc. helps that retention (which is how I help myself to remember my Hanzi, [even when they're tonally disconnected: ㄦ, 兄, 兌, 說, 稅, etc.], [even when I don't yet know what they mean: 乂, 父, 斤, 斧, etc.]).