14th October 2018

psychologytoday
8

Is there really such a thing as a photographic memory?

Many people boast that they have a "photographic memory." But there is no verified case of a memory that works like a camera. The phenomenon that comes closest is “eidetic memory,” which shows up in about 2 percent to 10 percent of children, but probably virtually no adults.

Just so, how common is it to have an eidetic memory?

Photographic memory is often confused with another bizarre—but real—perceptual phenomenon called eidetic memory, which occurs in between 2 and 15 percent of children and very rarely in adults. An eidetic image is essentially a vivid afterimage that lingers in the mind's eye for up to a few minutes before fading away.

Can I develop a photographic memory?

So to answer your question: it is not possible to develop a photographic memory. Those who are close to having one are extremely aberrant and unique humans who were born that way. However, it is possible to develop a very strong memory that, while isn't up to the likes of Peek or Neumann, is indeed impressive.

What is exceptional memory?

Exceptional Memory currently exists within the following modalities: autobiographical, visual images and numbers or music. The ability to remember large capacities of information in these modalities is identified as Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, Eidetic Memory and Savant Syndrome, respectively.
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