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what is eidetic memory? is it possible to have such a memory?

Eidetic memory means the ability to recall objects, pictures, sounds or events in short term memory with extraordinary accuracy. This is also commonly called photographic memory.

Would you like to have photographic memory? Are you wondering if it's possible?

To put it in perspective, having photographic memory is a very rare phenomenon. Not many people can boast of having such a perfect capability to recall precise details of objects or events presented to them.

It is important to recognize that those that naturally have such an extraordinary recall capability do not depend on mnemonics or other memory techniques to remember the objects.

Nor do they rely on personal relevance of the object or event to them.

An oft-quoted example of the latter scenario is chess pundits showcasing the ability to remember the exact location of pieces on the board when they are laid out in a certain organized way, as opposed to them not being able to remember them particularly well when laid out in a random fashion.

How to determine if someone has eidetic memory?

One of the ways to figure out if someone has photographic memory is to present them with a complex visual pattern having several intricate details. After 30 to 40 seconds the pattern is removed and replaced with a blank screen, and the person is then tested to see how many precise details of the patten he or she recalls.

Many times, those with natural eidetic capabilities behave as if they are still seeing the image, and talk in present tense about the specific details of the pattern that they have just seen.

So the memory of the object or event, to such people, is as accurate as if they are still seeing or hearing it in the present moment.

Of course, this is not a foolproof test, but does give an indication. Children typically have better eidetic recall capabilities simply because their minds carry less "analytical baggage" compared to adults.

Can you develop photographic memory?

There are also memory courses that come with a guarantee to impart you the ability to memorize everything - including formulas, passwords, faces, names and entire books - and keep the information in your mind for as long as you want. And such an ability can be as close to an eidetic memory as one can get.

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