photographic memories

Has there every been any documented; scientific proff of anyone with a photographic memory? How is this tested? How is this designated? Lastly, what can you do naturally to improve you own memory?

Well, i think that photographic memory does exist, i knew a woman that claimed to have it. Don’t really have any prove for this though…

As far as improving your memory, the only technique i’ve ever seen (and boy have i looked) is to make an association. I give you an example… Suppose you have a list of 5 items you need from the store. They are soap, gum, ice cream, kitty litter, and honey (this is just a list of random junk i thought up, but anyways…). Ok, now picture an association for each one, usually by number, and rhyming if possible, like for “one” think of “run” and after you run, you need to take a shower, which requires soap. Visualize this. One, run, soap. Make a little story out of it in your head. Ok, now 2… “Two”, “blew/blue”, gum… well, picture yourself blowing a big blue bubble. Again, visualize the story with this. “Three”, “free”, “ice cream”. Wouldn’t it be nice to get free ice cream? Ok, four, roar, kitty litter. Lions, which are big cats, roar. Five, hive, honey. This one is obvious. It sounds a little corny, but it works. I’ve done this before with a list of over 100 nouns, and repeated them all, and even kept that list commited to memory for months. Making a story out of it can help too, like this…

“One day you are out jogging, having a good workout. You return home and shower (soap reference here). After the shower, you walk around the house practicing blowing bubbles with some bright blue peppermint gum (gum reference) trying to beat the heat. Then suddenly you remember they give away free ice cream at the zoo today! You drive to the zoo, and park near a big lion exhibit. So near in fact, a lion’s (kitty litter)mighty roar sets off your car alarm! You go and get your free ice cream (ice cream), and carefully get in your car, as you notice you parked right under a hive (honey) of bees. Happy and cooled, you return home.”

So…
1)one, run, soap
2)two, blew/blue, gum
3)three, free, ice cream
4)four, roar, kitty litter
5)five, hive, honey

Just read the story quickly, and then see if you can remember what you were supposed to get. I bet you can! :slight_smile:

God WAS my co-pilot, but we crashed in the mountains and i had to eat him.

I remember songs really well; do I have a phonographic memory?

In partial answer to the OP, I’ve heard the term ‘eiditic memory’ associated with this phenom. (Not real sure about the spelling.) I always thought it was in the ‘child genius’ catagory, things we can all do a little, but some people have a knack or gift for, which may fade with age.


What do you want for Christmas, Crow? I want to decide who lives and who dies!

I believe we all have photographic memory, but on different levels. If we didn’t have that, we wouldn’t find our way home after leaving the house everyday, or recognize people we haven’t seen in a while, or what our family members or friends look like ---- we would need a constant reintroduction unless we rememberd. Most poeple say they can remember faces, but have a hard time remembering names. Some people are gifted with driving a place once and remembering the directions, while others need to go the same route a number of times before it sets into memory. We also have smell memory, sound memory, touch memory, and maby even more. That’s my best guestimate here. Hey guys, while your hanging out in message boards, can you please make a comment on mine…it’s " A Many Sided Question Needing An Answer About Alcohol" I really need to get to the bottom of that one. Thanx :slight_smile:


I forget most stuff but remember my sexual experiences perfectly (including those I’d rather forget!) - I have a pornographic memory.

I have to agree with Satchmo. I have what has been called a photographic memory but it is not like what you see in the movies. When I take a test and I am trying to remember the answer to a question, I just close my eyes and I can see the page the answer is on in the book. I just scroll down in my mind until I get to the sentence/paragraph I need.

If someone asks me something about a book or magazine, I can say, “I remember that it is on the left hand page, about a quarter of the way down the page,” but I can never seem to remember what the page # is. I guess that’s because I never really pay attention to the page #'s when I’m reading!

The people in movies always seem to remember the page #'s. Maybe these type of people (the ones with photographic memory) are the type who read page numbers along with everything else!


I always try to do things in chronological order.

Here’s what I heard from a guy once:

Apparently, true eiditic memory is rare, and those few cases of it have led to serious mental illnesses, because they remember everything and so everytime they see a red object they remember all the red objects they’ve ever seen.

He talked about a girl who could be shown a series of cards with dots on them, such that if all the dots were shown on one card they would make a picture. This girl could see the picture.

Well, that’s it. It’s all I know, and I don’t claim any of it’s true.

Way back when i was sudying psychology we had a look at a few people with photographic memories. The best test we used was asking them to memorise a checker board pattern, as there are no sorts of values that can be attributed to it, no real “pictures” that can be formed to aid retention. My patient could remember several thousand squares in a pattern quite easily (ie black, white, white, black, white etc). When remembering sequences of numbers, apparantly they would form pictures in his mind and even move, thus building a story which he would remember. he could effortlessly remember dozens of numbers after only having seen them once. However, it turned out that in return for this he self confessedly had absolutely no appreciation for any kind of poetry or alliteration, he just couldn’t get past the very litteral images that the words formed in his mind, to feeling the beauty of the words. Sorry to be so vague but it’s been a long time.

I just want to thank you. That was one of the most imformative and intelligent responses that I received. I appreciate your time with this.