can eiditic memory be enhanced?

I read recently that a small minority of people (children in particular) have a skill called “eiditic memory”. Supposedly someone with this ability can look at a picture/patern, then look away, and still be able to see the pattern. Something like the reverse afterimage you see if you stare at something to long… but here it’s not reversed.

  1. Can any of you pull a stunt like this?

  2. Can this ability be developed?

I sure can’t do this. I can sort of make out a “ghost” of very simple things- a smudge on the wall, for example, but it’s probably my imagination. I certianly can’t do it with anything more complex- say a picture or a headline. How 'bout you guys?

It might be something I’ve developed. My work involves looking at many curves - most commonly well logs and seismic data, and I am able to visualize them such that I can examine them, both qualitatively and quantitatively, in my mind’s eye.

It takes resources, so it’s only the most critical stuff that gets that treatment. It’s definitely an ability developed after I began my career, although some innate ability may have been present to begin with.

You’re talking photographic memory? There are people who can do amazing things and I couldn’t tell you if it can be further enhanced. I’m not photographic but, my memory being more or less visual I can tell you it does improve with practice, IME.

When I was a linguist we’d get hammered with hundreds of words & lots of grammar every day. After awhile I could “flash” the pages from my textbook into my head 10 minutes before class. I’m not sure this really counted as studying but it sure helped during our daily tests. I’d just mentally look up the page in my head that contained the answer and voila. I didn’t catagorize the information so much as just record a copy of the textbook in my head. It took practice, and the more I did it the easier it got. If you asked me a word I hadn’t previously used I had to call up the page (in my head), and actually look at that spot on the page that contained the word & definition before I could use it. Once I used the word it would go into conventional memory, whatever that is. So yes, it can be enhanced with practice, at least in my humble experience.