Only about 100 people have a photographic memory. Photographic memory is the capacity to recall a prior scene in perfect detail, exactly like a photograph. Despite the fact that many individuals claim to have it, there is no proof that photographic memory exists. All we have are reports by those who claim to have such powers.
The best evidence that photographic memory does not exist is that nobody has been able to prove any case where it was used as a tool for learning. The few cases reported in literature and folklore seem to be simple memories rather than photographic images.
The only way to know for sure if an individual has a photographic memory is to ask them to reproduce a list of objects or scenes they remember from earlier exposure to these items. If what they describe matches the original perfectly then they probably have a photographic memory. If not, then they are simply recalling the information but not its exact order or configuration.
Photographic memory is also difficult to test empirically because it is usually defined by what it is not rather than what it is. People with photographic memories are often described as having the ability to remember everything they see or hear even if it doesn't appear important at the time. This trait is most obvious in musicians who can recall every note they've played even though they don't think much of their performance until later.
The intuitive concept of a "photographic" memory is that it is similar to a photograph in that it may be retrieved from memory at any time and examined in detail, zooming in on different areas. However, the existence of a real photographic memory in this sense has never been demonstrated. There are two main types of memories: explicit and implicit. Implicit memories can not be recalled explicitly and include such things as habituations, reflexes, and instincts. Photographic memories would therefore be considered an example of an explicit memory.
It is possible to learn something so well that it becomes automatic and does not require conscious thought. For example, if you were to study Indian music for many years, then listen to it frequently, you could have an automatic response when asked what key a piece of music is in. You would not need to think about it because it would be so familiar that your brain would automatically respond. This is because musical skills can become implicit memories.
There are several examples in history of people who have had visions or dreams that have come true. Some believe that these experiences are messages from God, others say they receive them through psychic abilities. But regardless of how they occur, these moments are preserved in our memory banks as unforgettable images or scenes. This shows that our memory works by storing information about our experiences into neurons in our brains.
While most people make modest use of eidetic memory, photographic memory is more uncommon. Many studies have been conducted on those who claim to have a photographic memory. High intellect has been connected to the capacity to have a photographic memory. Being able to recall everything that you see or hear makes sense because you would need a very large storehouse of information to be able to draw upon when making decisions or solving problems. However, since average individuals can also exhibit this trait, it cannot be used as evidence for high intelligence.
The ability to remember things that you have seen or heard often leads people to believe that you have a photographic memory. This kind of memory is called eidetic memory and it has been reported by many psychologists who have studied hyperthymesics. Hyperthymesic memory has been defined as having such a strong visual image that you can recall exactly what you saw several minutes ago.
Research has shown that people who can perform extremely well on certain tests of memory do not necessarily have a photographic memory. They may simply have trained themselves to think about memories in a way that makes them easier to retrieve. Therefore, being able to recall things that you have seen or heard often does not mean that you have a photographic memory. It may just show that you have good training and practice in thinking about your memories.
Photographic memories, according to scientific investigations, do not exist. People with good memory do not remember everything perfectly. Excellent memory is frequently restricted to certain jobs. Someone who is adept at remembering faces may struggle to recall cards or numbers. Some people have said to have a photographic memory, but this is false.
There is no scientific proof that you can train your memory to be photographic. However, you can teach your brain to recall more. The brain is a muscle - it can be strengthened through practice.
Do's: Remember facts and figures that are important or that you want to remember later? Do this through mnemonics - easy to remember techniques for storing information in your mind. For example, if you wanted to store the phrase "here comes an argument" as a reminder not to let someone who is angry at you get behind the wheel of a car, you could create a mnemonic device by pairing the words "here" with "comes" and then adding the word "an" and "argument". This would give you the sentence "Here comes an argument". Repeat the phrase over and over in your head until it becomes automatic to think of when you need to drive carefully around people who are angry with you. Then, one day you will wake up and know without thinking whether it is safe to drive home after work; everyone there will be OK, and so will you.
Don't's: If you want to block out something from your mind, don't use memory exercises to do it.
Photographic memory, or eidetic memory as it is formally known, is also a poorly understood phenomena in the field of neuroscience. Much of the data suggests that the idea is wholly fictitious, as research has yet to reliably confirm the occurrence of such a memory. However, some studies have found evidence that individuals with extraordinary memories for images may actually activate neurons that control vision, suggesting that they are perceiving something even though they appear not to be aware of it.