An Elaborate View on Eidetic Memory

Eidetic memory is more commonly known as photographic memory. It is defined as the ability to recall images seen, sounds heard or objects in ones memory with extreme precision and exactness. The word eidetic means exceptionally vivid and detailed recall of something previously perceived and is more commonly seen in children.

Over several decades there have been debates over whether or not eidetic memory actually exists. Most people believe that such memory is only a myth. But there have been claims, of various techniques available to achieve and improvise basic memory function and make photographic memory possible. Various tests have been carried out so far in order to prove the existence of photographic memory but none have really proved to be successful so far. Most tests involve showing persons, images which they are allowed to visualize and memorize or study for atleast 40 seconds, following which the image is removed from his or her sight and the test depends on how efficiently the person is able to describe the image exactly. The more the exactness the more perfect is the recall memory of the person concerned. There are researches carried out as to how one is able to develop an eidetic memory, but so far no such technique has been established or discovered. There are a few techniques like mnemonics etc. which help to improve memory to a great extent however there is no evidence of its effectiveness in improving photographic memory.

As one grows old his Eidetic Memory seems to diminish steadily. Young children have better photographic memory and are able to recall images they have seen more accurately than their adult counterparts. Eidetic memory may be influenced with many factors such as the duration or period of exposure to the stimulus, the level relevance of the stimulus to the person, the interest levels of the individuals and conscious observation.

Many people having good memory claim to have eidetic memory. However there are significant differences in the manner in which the information is processed by each of them. People having a good memory mainly used certain mnemonic methods in order to make things relevant to themselves and thus aid the process of recalling. Persons having eidetic memory remember a detailed and precise description of the object or the stimulus. They seem to remember very specific details like the place where the person had been, the colour of the clothes the person had worn etc.

Many people blessed with good memories and good recalling capabilities; do not necessarily have a good photographic memory. Some of them however may experience instances of ‘sporadic eidetic memory’ where they may describe a few stimuli in exact detail. The instances of these experiences may not be as a result of a conscious effort made by the individual. Factors which help to maintain and develop a good memory are getting enough rest and sleep, regular physical exercise and some form of daily mental exercise and stimulation. Although such factors may not play a special part in improving or developing eidetic memory.

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