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Photographic Memory; Good Memory; Myth vs Reality
Photographic Memory and Good Memory
Does photographic memory actually exist or do individuals only have good memory? That question has been around for years. Some people believe they do have that super memory, but most experts say photographic memory does not exist. To exist, a person would have the ability to recall everything from a lifetime. Some people do have certain kinds of memory where they recall much information, usually from a brain malfunction.You will find the answers to these questions fascinating, as they appear in this article.
Photographic Memory Defined
Photographic memory is defined as ability to remember things exactly: the ability to recall information, especially visual images, with great accuracy and clarity. It is like having a camera and recording instrument in use all the time. According to photographic memory.org, less than 5% of children are born with this ability and most lose it as they mature. Exforys.com states that photographic memory is so rare that some people do not believe it exists. This site also states that children usually lose that ability, as they grow older. "Lots of people claim to have a photographic memory, but nobody actually does. Nobody," states Slate magazine. William Lee Adams in "Psychology Today" states that "mounting evidence indicates that it is impossible to recall images with near perfect accuracy." The article also indicates that if humans remembered every image, it would be difficult for them to make it through the day. This apparently refers to brain overload,
Relationship of Brain to Memory
Andrea Goldstein of Bryn Mawr College explains the relationship of the brain to memory. She states that memory is stored briefly in sensory memory as an image. It only progresses further into long-term memory with development. She believes that some people may have specific wiring in their brains to enable further development. This is only a theory. It may also be that the children born with photographic memory do not entirely lose it if developed further by parents, environment, or schooling..
Case study 1. Mr. B is a college graduate, beginning medical school. He has received A grades throughout his entire life. In the younger grades, he never had to study, as he remembered everything he heard in class or read in books. When he reached college, and had to read and remember multitudes of knowledge, he read over notes and books. Then he remembered it in his brain for the test by visualizing his notes or page in textbook. He remembers information about sports from hearing and watching television. He quickly figures out mechanical tasks such as a complex DVR. This young student claims to rid his brain of bad memories or images by only remembering events that he can control. He conversed easily with adults at age 2, and memories of these events remain vivid. His mother read and sang to him before birth and spent hours working on his development after his birth. She actually took on the role of teacher until he started school. This young man appears to have a photographic memory, not just a good memory.
Note: This young man went to medical school where he could never have remembered all the information from his classes. He did, however, receive all As and scored in the top 10 percent on his board exams.
Some People Have Larger Lobes
Picturesque Photo of Brain
Marilu Henner - What a Brain
Autobiographical Memory - An Amazing Story
In December 2010, Lesley Stahl from Sixty Minutes interviewed several people who possess superior autobiographical memory, one of whom was Marilu Henner, the actress. She remembers the incidents of every day since age 11. She reads her lines and possesses total recall. An MRI of her brain shows she has a larger temporal lobe and caudate nucleus, a region deep in the brain, also found in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder. She appears to have photographic memory, but physicians call it Hyperthymesia. Others who have a brain disorder may have a type of photographic memory as seen in Kim Peek pictured in video.
Wizard LeBron James
An athletic wizard also has almost an eidetic memory - LeBron James of the Miami and Cleveland NBA basketball teams.. He remembers plays from many weeks, months, and even years ago. Once he even commented on a coach and his attire in a game, compared to many years ago. When anyone mentions an old game, he immediately remembers teams. scores, and even plays. By remembering plays, he can compete well against other teams. His memory is similar to Marilu Henner and Rain Man. He also comments it can be a curse, as he remembers the bad with the good.
LeBron James also plays video games and remembers what opponents' plays have been in current and previous games. If anyone bets against him, that person probably does not have a chance. Many folks have no awareness of the skills of some of these super intelligent people. This star has a high school education and went directly to the NBA, so you can see that his brain is loaded with the neurons for high intelligence.
Autism and Photographic Memory
Individuals with disabilities of the brain sometimes develop something similar to photographic memory, because the malfunction allows parts of the brain to be different, allowing recall of an enormous amount of memory. Individuals with autism are very good at recall, especially with numbers. A young man with savant autism took a helicopter tour and drew a panoramic view of exactly what he saw with very few errors. Autism, according to the American Psychiatric Association is a deficiency in language development, social skills, and behavioral repetition Savant autism refers to an autistic person with great skill in certain areas, resembling a photographic memory. An important example of savant autism appears in a movie.
Remember the movie Rain Man. This movie was loosely woven around the autistic savant Kim Peek who appeared to have a photographic memory. He could remember every book and author in a library, quoted an extensive amount of sports trivia, details about every war, complex driving instructions, birth dates of people he met, and information about movies, geography, and the space program. Dustin Hoffman played his role in the movie and had the pleasure of meeting this savant man who, unfortunately, died at the age of 58 of a heart attack. When Dustin Hoffman accepted the Oscar for the movie, he thanked Kim Peek, bestowing great praise for him and his abilities.
Therefore, the mystery of life is unanswered. It appears that some people believe they have photographic memory, but good sources say that no one can remember everything. The answer may be that some do have good memory but no one has perfect photographic memory. Someday, with further studies of the brain, the answer may be clear and definite. Some individuals who believe they have photographic memory may one day be reassured that their memory is photographic, and science will advance one more step out of the realm of the unknown. However, it does not seem likely that a person can remember everything without the brain becoming overloaded. Marilu Henner comes close..
twin hub on the brain
Kim Peak - The Real Rain Man
Brain - Photographic Memory or Good Memory
Lost in Memory by the Sea
Case study 2.Miss. O believes she has a photographic memory, not just a good memory, as she remembers what she sees and hears. She also remembers events from childhood. In college, she reads voluminous books and notes. always remembering what she reads or hears. However, her brain contains so much information that she feels she may explode, resulting in the need to take frequent breaks. She also believes she may have a malfunction in memory between short and long-term memory.
Case study 3. Miss C believes that she has photographic episodes. She can remember what she reads and can see the words on the page in her brain. In addition, she recalls experiences with pictures, sounds, and smells, but not all experiences.
Case study 4. Mrs C believes that she has a photographic memory, and remembers episodes back to her early childhood. Recalling conversations among her mother and other adults are part of her memory. She remembers what she reads and hears, excelling in college due to these skills. Remembering telephone numbers and the faces of people she has met many years ago are very easy for her. She remembers being like a telephone book at work and being able to assist co-workers with this sharp skill.
These examples of people who believe they have some type of photographic memory gives us a look into their brains.. Two individuals believe they have photographic memory with the third believing in episodes of photographic memory. This gives an excellent picture of people and their ideas about good memory and photographic memory.
A sincere thank you goes out to those individuals from Hubpages and others who volunteered information about their memories for the case studies.
- The Truth About Photographic Memory | Psychology Today
It's impossible to recover images with perfect accuracy. The myth of photographic memory. By William Lee Adams | Psychology Today
- Photographic Memory: A Look at Eidetic Imagery in the Brain
Bryn Mawr College member discusses the brain and photographic m emory
- No one has a photographic memory. - By Joshua Foer - Slate Magazine
Slate Magazine author discusses plagiarism and photographic memory