The term “photographic memory” is usually used to mean a perfect memory but in actuality it is in fact a little bit more than a perfect memory.
Wikipidea define it as this:
“Eidetic or photographic memory is popularly defined as the ability to recall images, sounds, or objects in memory with extreme precision and in abundant volume”
& it’s those two phrases “extreme precision” and in “abundant volume” that are the key distinguisher’s that signal if you are dealing with an eidetic or photographic memory.. Or not..
The word eidetic itself means related to extraordinarily detailed and vivid recall of visual images, and comes from the Greek word εἶδος (eidos), which is directly translatable to “seen” (as a past participle of “see”).
Wikipidea also goes on to say:
“Eidetic memory as observed in children is typified by the ability of an individual to study an image for approximately 30 seconds, and maintain a nearly perfect photographic memory of that image for a short time once it has been removed—indeed such eidetickers claim to “see” the image on the blank canvas as vividly and in as perfect detail as if it were still there. Much like any other memory, the intensity of the recall may be subject to several factors such as duration and frequency of exposure to the stimulus, conscious observation, relevance to the person, etc. This fact stands in contrast to the general misinterpretation of the term which assumes a constant and total recall of all events.”
Interesting stuff and even more interesting to hear some people who possess an excellent trained memory claim to have eidetic memory too.
However, the two are not the same as there are distinct differences in the manner in which information is processed.
People who have a trained memory have internalized a couple or in some cases several very good mnemonic devices that have become second nature to them, when it comes to retaining any information they desire.
Whilst those with eidetic memory don’t seem to being using any device & remember extremely specific & intricate details with pinpoint accuracy such as the exact location & coordinates where a person was standing and detailed information on what the person was wearing.
In short they usually recall an event with greater detail then possibly imaginable.
However, this process is generally most evident when those with eidetic memory make a considerable and real effort to remember such details. Were as a person with a trained memory aided by their mneomic devices would be able to recall the chosen information extremely easily & in some cases instantly.
A few great musicians and artists like Mozart and Claude Monet were believed to possess eidetic memory but because they both devoted extremely large portions of their waking hours towards the improvement of their abilities it is in fact more possible that they simply trained their memories to a very high standard in their respective arts, which is far more logical & accountable for their surprising abilities.
Autistic children and adults are better example’s of true eidetic memories as there eidetic abilities have no obvious ‘training arena’.
So again the lines can be blurred but coming back to original question of “Is there such a thing as truly photographic memory?” with the evidence from research conducted on those individuals gifted with eidetic memory we can say Yes.. but it is very rare indeed.
However one things for sure even if you don’t have eidetic or photographic memory, training your memory and pursuing its continued ongoing development is the surest pathway to greatness and beyond..
Until next time,
“A seeking mind will always find the answer it’s looking for..”