Eidetic memory

Eidetic memory (k/; sometimes called photographic memory) is an ability to recall images from memory vividly after only a few instances of exposure, with high precision for a brief time after exposure,[1] without using a mnemonic device.[2] Although the terms eidetic memory and photographic memory are popularly used interchangeably,[1] they are also distinguished, with eidetic memory referring to the ability to view memories like photographs for a few minutes,[3] and photographic memory referring to the ability to recall pages of text or numbers, or similar, in great detail.[4][5] When the concepts are distinguished, eidetic memory is reported to occur in a small number of children and as something generally not found in adults,[2][6] while true photographic memory has never been demonstrated to exist.[5][7]

The word eidetic comes from the Greek word εἶδος (pronounced [êːdos], eidos).[8]

Eidetic or photographic memory

The terms eidetic memory and photographic memory are commonly used interchangeably,[1] but they are also distinguished.[4][5] Scholar Annette Kujawski Taylor stated, "In eidetic memory, a person has an almost faithful mental image snapshot or photograph of an event in their memory. However, eidetic memory is not limited to visual aspects of memory and includes auditory memories as well as various sensory aspects across a range of stimuli associated with a visual image."[9] Author Andrew Hudmon commented: "Examples of people with a photographic-like memory are rare. Eidetic imagery is the ability to remember an image in so much detail, clarity, and accuracy that it is as though the image were still being perceived. It is not perfect, as it is subject to distortions and additions (like episodic memory), and vocalization interferes with the memory."[6]

"Eidetikers", as those who possess this ability are called, report a vivid afterimage that lingers in the visual field with their eyes appearing to scan across the image as it is described.[10][11] Contrary to ordinary mental imagery, eidetic images are externally projected, experienced as "out there" rather than in the mind. Vividness and stability of the image begins to fade within minutes after the removal of the visual stimulus.[3] Lilienfeld et al. stated, "People with eidetic memory can supposedly hold a visual image in their mind with such clarity that they can describe it perfectly or almost perfectly [...], just as we can describe the details of a painting immediately in front of us with near perfect accuracy."[12]

By contrast, photographic memory may be defined as the ability to recall pages of text, numbers, or similar, in great detail, without the visualization that comes with eidetic memory.[4] It may be described as the ability to briefly look at a page of information and then recite it perfectly from memory. This type of ability has never been proven to exist and is considered popular myth.[5][7]

Other Languages
العربية: ذاكرة صورية
български: Ейдетична памет
español: Eidética
한국어: 직관 기억
қазақша: Эйдетизм
македонски: Еидетско помнење
日本語: 映像記憶
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Eydetizm
português: Memória eidética
русский: Эйдетизм
Simple English: Photographic memory
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Fotografsko pamćenje
українська: Ейдетика