Some sharply vivid facts about having a photographic memory (14 Photos)


You know how you see in the news how some people claim that they have a Photographic memory and can recall details, and describe something they saw for mere seconds? While it sounds cool, as it turns out, it’s not entirely true. There’s actually no scientific proof that Photographic memory exists. Scientists have been researching this since the early 20’s, and while there’s strong evidence that people can have incredible memories, and do amazing things, it’s not a true Photographic memory event. That’s disappointing.Here’s what they’ve figured out so far. Photographic Memory isn’t even real
According to scientists, researchers and psychologists, the idea of having a photographic memory has never been proven to exist. While it’s possible to have an exceptionally sharp memory, no one can actually recall every single detail about an image with perfect accuracy after a quick look. Even those guys that will look at a picture, or fly over a city and sketch it out in perfect detail, don’t actually do it perfectly. They take liberties, slight details are wrong. So, it’s not photographic. It’s been used as an excuse for plagiarism
A decade ago, a Harvard professor was accused of plagiarism, as it was found that 29+ passages of her book were copied from other sources. She claimed that it was unintentional due to her photographic memory, but it was never proven.Instead, she could have a condition called Cryptomnesia, where a forgotten memory returns without it being recognized as new by the subject. You think it’s a new idea. Your memory is more like a jigsaw puzzle, than a camera
Scientists don’t 100% understand how memory works, but they do know that it’s incredibly complex. What they do know is that when you experience something, your brain (specifically the hippocampus and frontal cortex) decide what’s worth remembering. Then they store the bits of information in different parts of the brain, and then they’re reassembled when you recall that memory. But due to where things are stored, how the memories are retained, it’s impossible to recall every single detail about a particular image, because your brain only catalogues the important parts. What we refer to as “Photographic Memory” is usually something else
People who claim to have this condition or seem like they have it, usually have something else that mimics photographic memory. For example, some savants and high-functioning people can remember extraordinary amounts of information, but it’s not exact. Others use mnemonic devices. Some people might have what’ called an Eidetic Memory – which is a real ability that is incredibly close to having a photographic memory. Having an Eidetic memory doesn’t mean you’re perfect at recall
An Eidetic memory means you can look at an unfamiliar image for 30 seconds or so, and then describe details about it, while you’re not looking at it. Most can recall specific details, like the petals on a flower, or the spots on a butterfly. While that’s incredible, it’s not a true photographic recall, as their descriptions sometimes have errors, and the accuracy declines after a few minutes. Ask them again a day later, and their memories will be even less accurate. Eidetic memory is most common in children
Scientists aren’t 100% sure why, but the people with the most occurrences of Eidetic memories are kids. The ability is strong up until the age of 6, then it fades away. It could be that Eidetic memory hinders the true functionality of memory, so the brain starts filtering out the unimportant details to work more efficiently. Hence, some details are lost. Some memory skills are natural gifts, but most take a lot of practice
When it comes to memory gifts, the kids with eidetic memories are born with it, and savants just possess phenomenal memories. There’s nothing you can do you acquire those abilities. But a lot of people do become great memorizers through discipline and a hell of a lot of practice. This is the secret behind most card sharks, who can memorize the sequence of an entire deck and count cards.