Neuroscientists were also able to train people with ordinary memory skills to emulate the masters.
The learners were able to remember lists of names at a time, and also showed similar brain connectivity patterns.
"A good memory is something you could learn, and you could train for," said lead researcher, Dr.Martin Dresler, of Radboud University Medical Centre, Netherlands.
Dr. Dresler added that if one uses these strategic mnemonic training memory strategies, they can considerably increase their memory, even if it was awful at the start.
The findings are based on mnemonics, memory devices that help people recall a lot of information, especially in the form of lists.
The techniques involved include loci, or memory palace, an ancient method where one makes an imaginary journey through a place they know well, such as a building or street, using each location as a visual prompt to store information.
Neuroscientists studied the brains of memory champions who are good at memorizing vast quantities of information. They then compared their brains with those of people of a similar age, and with similar IQs.
The scientists found subtle differences in connectivity patterns across a large number of brain segments.
They then trained people with typical memory skills to see if they could improve. Some were given training techniques used by memory athletes, while others had memory training that did not include mnemonic strategies. The rest had no training at all.
There was a big increase in the memory power of those given training used by memory athletes. They went from recalling an average of 26 to 30 from a list of 76 words to remembering more than sixty.
The benefits of the are however likely to be restricted to cases in which people consciously apply the trained strategy.