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Eidetic memory

A number of people claim to have eidetic memory , but science has never found a single verifiable case of photographic memory. This includes all winners of the annual World Memory Championships and most of the known scientific cases of excellent memories, like Solomon Shereshevsky. Regardless, the following list contains people who have claimed photographic memory. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wikipedia list article. Scientific American. Retrieved Slate Magazine. Encyclopedia Britannica. Hove, England: Psychology Press
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The term photographic memory brings to mind an ability to remember exactly what has been seen for all time. This ability is referred to as eidetic memory. Eidetic memory is thought to occur in a small percentage of children, although even this assumption is far from conclusive. After that, the details in eidetic memories may change, fade completely, or be captured in short-term memory, where it may again fade, change, or be captured in long-term memory. Some people use the terms photographic memory and eidetic memory interchangeably, but these two phenomena are different. People who believe they have photographic memories say they can recall visuals for very long periods of time, or permanently, without alterations in detail. Both are hard phenomena to test conclusively. Whether photographic memory is attainable or not, there are strategies for supporting your brain to remember more of what you see. And that is a very good thing. Once upon a time, it was thought that only around 60 percent of the population were visual learners, meaning that they were able to retain knowledge and memory obtained via visual stimuli.
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By: Nicole Beasley. Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn. Many people wish that they had a photographic memory. It would be nice to be able to remember everything that we saw that was important automatically. However, while most people make some limited use of eidetic memory, photographic memory is rarer. There have been many studies into people who claim to have a photographic memory. The ability to have a photographic memory has been linked to high intelligence. Everyone has use of eidetic memory to a degree. Eidetic memory is the ability to see an object soon after you look away. For most people, the image lasts mere seconds or less than one second.

There has recently been an influx of discussion and questions about eidetic memory within the world of psychology. Though eidetic memory has been shown to exist, it is also exceedingly rare, and usually only seen in children.

Eidetic memory is the ability to recall an image, as well as sounds and other sensations associated with that image, with so much accurate detail that it is as if they are still seeing it. The ability does not require prolonged exposure to the visual image, and it also does not last for a prolonged period of time. Importantly, in order for a memory to be considered eidetic it cannot rely on any mnemonic devices to assist with its recall. It is extremely rare in adults. Researchers theorize that this is a result of children having a greater tendency to rely on the visual images they see, while adults have a tendency to try to encode both visual and verbal cues, thus weakening the formation of eidetic memories.

A specific test exists to identify whether a person is an eidetiker and forms eidetic memories. This test is known as the Picture Elicitation Method , and involves placing an unfamiliar image in front of the subject and providing them with a limited period of time usually 30 seconds to look at it.

The picture is then removed, though the easel it had been resting on remains and the individual is asked what they see when they look at it. People who have eidetic memory continue to see the picture as if it is still in place, and can describe different sections of it in detail, going so far as to use present tense in their description. What the edetikers see is specifically not an afterimage, which is characterized both by colors in the image changing and the image moving along with movements of the eye.

Most important of all, eidetic images eventually fade away bit by bit and only last about four minutes, and eidetikers can purposely make the image go away by repeatedly blinking their eyes.

After the memory is gone, it cannot generally be retrieved. Scientific American. Upon learning about eidetic memory, many people make the logical leap to what they understand as photographic memory, an ability that has largely been disproven as myth.

Though many people do have excellent memories, the notion of being able to quickly view an image and encode it into permanent, retrievable, perfect memory has been disproven time and again by researchers. The closest that anybody has come to exhibiting that type of ability have been a few savants similar to the one profiled in the Dustin Hoffman movie Rain Man , but even they do not have complete abilities.

People who have notably remarkable memories generally zero in on a specific area of interest or talent — basketball star LeBron James is an excellent example of this: though many people attribute his uncanny ability to remember details, plays and dates of individual basketball games to having a photographic memory, it is likely more true that he has an excellent memory fortified by his love and study of the game. Others who claim that they have a photographic memory actually rely on mnemonic tools to enhance their ability to remember details about specific subjects.

There is a highly specific form of memory termed hyperthymestic syndrome that has been associated with photographic memory — it is an ability that some people have to remember autobiographical detail from throughout their lives in extreme detail. Slate Magazine. I never chose to have this but as I got older I learned how to use it through the training.

Mine has smell touch feel and sound the guides me to the memory I can actually smell it feel it and almost touch it with my mind. I am sharing these things about my son in hopes to start a conversation.

My son just turn He always showed signs of having a photographic memory and as I read more studies I realized that he was actually showing attributes of eidetic memory. I had him tested for gifted and took him to a certified specialist for testing eidetic memory when he was 5.

He tested off the charts for both. He still, today, has the abilities of an eidetiker. He has been seeing the same specialist every year to test his abilities. He has shown more of what the above article says is hyperthymestic syndrome, yet still has the ability to use his eidetic memory. When he recalls the memory of the image from the test he describes colors, sounds, smells, and even the sense of touch.

I am amazed by my son. In Dr. Michael Siegel presented a paper to the APA regarding my abilities. He studied me for 2 years. Siegel in the first place]. And I have perfect pitch. Your email address will not be published. Post Comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. What is Eidetic Memory? November 13, Staff Writer. Blog Posts. No Comments. The Truth About Repressed Memories.

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