Can One Develop A Photographic Memory?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by nicholas1M7, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. nicholas1M7 Banned Banned


    I want to know if its possible to "learn" how to remember and recall all that one sees and hears?

    Is it true that Tibetan monks have developed meditative techniques to "speed read" through a book? They can gear their mind up to absorb info at superspeeds by meditating before reading. The words on a page move into focus and appear to lift off it as if 3 dimenisional, then it becomes imprinted into their mind. They don't need to read it in the traditional sense, they just absorb it by watching the words and flipping through. A page is said to be "read" or absorbed in mere seconds.
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  3. Baron Max Registered Senior Member


    Baron Max
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  5. nicholas1M7 Banned Banned

    Oh, you did the research in Tibet?
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  7. lowi Registered Senior Member

    practice practice practice.
    although probably some people are more genetically predisposed to do better at it than others though.
  8. Makaveli Registered Senior Member

    no , however its more of a cures to have it.
  9. theoneiuse Theoneiuse Registered Senior Member

    use the periodic table of elements change your dna from carbon into silicon thats how the monk do it KISS
  10. TREELAW45 Registered Senior Member

    I veiw pictures in my mind and manipulate them. I tested out with perfect scores in spatial relations and mechanical reasoning. But I can't spell and have other deficits. Master what you are good at, we can;t be all things.
    As far as reading quick try read each line or sentence at a time and don't read just at the speed you talk at. To get the jist of something quick, read only the first a last sentence of each paragraph. You go through a few pages in a minute, if something interests you read the hole paragraph or a few.
  11. Kurranugi Registered Member

    Yes! It's possible! I find that the things that I tend to remember easily happen to be the things that are most important to me. Strange how that work, eh? Second of all, the more connections you make between the thing you're trying to learn and other things you already know, the better you'll remember.

    I mean, a person who is interested in ancient history, for example, will strive to *understand* what it was all about. They might learn all the extra details of an event, look into overlapping disciplines, etc. all just to learn the thing that they most enjoy, that they find most important to them.

    However, someone who is absolutely bored with history but needs to learn it will have to find things within it that are important to him/her and interesting. Perhaps memory is linked to imagination... which would explain Albert Einstein's crazy memory.
  12. valich Registered Senior Member

    Pick up a few books on speed reading and develop the techniques.

    I always "speed read," but it depends on the material. If it's a deep scientific research article then I might have to carefully read it - again and again. Other types of material I simply scan down the pages and let my peripheral vision catch the key words or novelties - ignoring all the pronouns, conjunctions, adjectives, etc. Sometimes I just use my finger to browze down the center. Novels can be read extremely fast using this method.
  13. I have a visually eidetic memory, if that's any help. Technically I'm incapable of forgetting anything. Technically I actually don't. Last time I checked apparently I was born with it. Have heard of all sorts of techniques and so forth for memory improvement - can't say as I particularly understand how they're supposed to work or not, never had to use them...

    Have to say though, not necessarily all its cracked up to be. Just because you can remember even the most peripheral of details doesn't always guarantee you're recollection actually is entirely accurate 100% of the time - even though you know enough to know you've made a mistake it still doesn't actually prevent you from getting things a trifle jumbled up with other memories.

    Equally, have to say, I have the most extraordinary difficulty recollecting names and dates. Thing is, I know it's wrong when I do it, but I can still go ahead and recollect wrongly... It's somewhat difficult to describe. Like the synaptic equivalent of a spoonerism, or some such.

    Why are you asking - are you planning on becoming a Tibetan Monk? Y'know, the reason those chaps get terribly good at doing things is because they simply dedicate themselves to doing a particular thing 24/7 and, being stuck on the top of a ruddy big mountain, there generally is actually very little around to distract you...
  14. TimeTraveler Immortalist Registered Senior Member

    All of us can speed read, thats not the same as a photographic memory. I can photograph visually, but the difference is in accuracy. Some people have perfect accuracy, some people have very good accuracy most of us have just average.

    You can skim through a book and get enough out of it to pass an exam, but you wont really be able to recite every single word unless you have the talent.

    There are visualization and meditation techniques which can improve memory, or allow for photographing, so it's possible, but you need talent for it.
  15. TimeTraveler Immortalist Registered Senior Member


    Another thing interesting is, memory. I have the sorta perfect memory with sound, it's accurate enough that I can hear a melody a few times and then play it back on any instrument.

    I can memorize lyrics, I can memorize anything sound related. This is a different kind of memory from visual, I think thats where talent comes. Photogaphic memory is visual, it won't help you much with lectures, or with music, or with remembering what words were said to you, but it might be worse because you'll remember facial expressions, and stuff like that.

    I think I'm glad I don't have a perfect visual memory because theres some visual experiences I already have stuck in my head without one. The sound memory, I use when I make music, it's indeed not perfect, but it's detailed enough that it's nearly so.

    Perfect memory is, like perfect pitch, or perfect photographing, I don't have perfect accuracy. I think it can be developed to perfection, if you are naturally good at it, and use it a lot, but the better your memory is, the more painful experiences you'll remember. So if you never forget anything, you'll be constantly reviewing your entire life from start to finish, it can be painful to think about the past when it's too detailed. A perfect photographic and sound memory would drive a person insane because they'd re live the past.
  16. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

    The only thing I have photographic memory with is movies. I can watch a movie one time and recognize the most random scene from the movie in an instant. Flipping through the TV channels I'll see a flash of the scene.. maybe lasting no more than 1/2 a second (because I'm flipping) and I will be like "oh shit.. that's XYZ."

    Maybe it's the lighting? The sound? Visual cues I pick up on? I have no idea.

    Sometimes I can see just one scene from a movie and months or years later presented with a different scene from the movie.. I always guess it right.

    The brain is a weird thing :bugeye:

    I'm bad with names and about everything else though.
  17. Oooooer.... I must be half barking then, I'm afraid I can do the sound thing too - saves an absolute fortune on ipods...

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Actually, y'know, when it comes to that last - the bit about being able to remember the past so clearly as if almost be living it - I do it all the time. On the whole, when it comes to the memory of bad, painful, poignant experiences - with the ability to recollect pretty much everything in your life comes equally the ability to place given instances within factual context of the rest of everything else - it's when you can only remember and dwell on only the negative - that's when you get the emotional problems.

    Taken in context, what adds up to even the most tragic and heartbreaking of circumstances realistically only compromises a given span of actual time - there's more to ones life, much, much more and thus, being able to both see and recognise it as such - I can't say as the ability to never actually forget posses a particularly troublesome problem with regards to maintaining ones sanity.

    Quite the opposite. It's positively beneficial in that specific regard I'd say.

    The peoples names and dates thing still bugs me though....
  18. lejink Registered Member


    i find i have the same sort of memory for music. iv really come to realize its depth more recently. ill be at work with the radio on in the background, id walk in the room and after hearing maybe a second, or even just a single note and know what song it is. how the guitar sounds seems to be a big part in it. or with bands i really like- megadeth for example, i remember every note of every solo. my favorite songs give me goosebumps n make my hands tingle, its an amazing feeling that no one i personaly know seems to understand.
    but as for developing a photographic memory, u can learn to sort things in your mind to help your memory, if you want to be able to glance at a page in a book and remember every word its not possible to learn that. but dont let that discourage you from trying to improve your comprehension. it is possible to double or tripple your reading speed. its not as glamorous as being able to remember the words as fast as you can flip the page but its the most obtainable. the amount of improvement in your memory you can get is really dependant on the amount of time your willing to spend working on it.
  19. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

    Well you can try to bump your head, some people have become smarter after damaging the part of the brain that deals with creating a "whole", making the brain change focus to the details (if you want photographic memory, or the ability to read a book in a few minutes and remember it all etc.).

    I wouldn't recommend it though, of course these "savants" were accidental. Also there are natural savants of course.

    It may be trained. We are much more complex than a calculator, but there's more to life than doing calculations but changing focus to the details or other parts of the brain can activate those kind of abilities.
  20. Eidolan Registered Senior Member

    The Tibetan monks have probably figured out how to temporarily turn off parts of the left side of their brain in order to temporarily gain savant like abilities. One reason people try to learn to do this is so that they can tap into their intuition.

    Apes have excellent photographic memories. They can take one glance at a scene and accurately recollect all the details of it, as if they are looking at a picture.
  21. akpd Registered Member

    Eidetic memory is ability to memorize the pictures in the smallest details. A man having such kind of the memory provides the projecting of the visual picture on the inside screen. Then the received image is read and analyzed. A man with eidetic memory can easily operate the buffer located between the visual channel and the rest of thinking organs. The pictures in this buffet of the common people are lightened up only for a moment and then dispersed, transferring the information further into the brains. An Eidetic keeps the pictures and can call them making the mind to analyze the information again.

    It is known that many artists and draughtsman have ability to memorize the pictures and to reproduce them from memory. It indicates that figurative memory is not inborn but acquired virtue of a man and it can be developed.

    The ancient oriental scientists ascertained that all people could be divided into four types - artists and thinkers. The thinkers easily memorize logical information, artists - visual information.

    Since Aristotle's time our civilization worked out its way mainly on development of the left logical hemisphere and it resulted in the loss by the major part of the mankind their ability to use their sub consciousness.

    On the level of conscious activity only 10% of our brains is in operation, while subconscious activity counts to 90% of the human potential. Logical strategies of thinking use only small part of our abilities.

    The mankind worked out written language, packed the knowledge into the textbook and reference books. And it found the way out replacing man's memory with paper carriers.

    In ordinary life these means fill up the lost possibilities and allow a man to find solution of standard tasks, using reference books and literature but it concerns only the executive part of the work. And when the flow of thought is needed, when something new has to be created, the unexplored have to be discovered the logical consciousness is effortless.

    If you want more than it is required from the ordinary executer, if you want to process the material and data, collected from the smallest details of knowledge, then you should develop the functions of imaginative memory and imaginative thinking.

    The Eidetic therapy exercise provides harmonization of the left and right hemispheres because a trainee should be both a thinker and an artist.

    The trainings will give an opportunity to use the inside screen of a man on which you will be able to draw the tasks freely, restoring the pictures in your memory .

    Eidetic imagery unlocks and works with images that can unleash a person's original nature, as well as happiness, passion and creativity, she says
  22. seagypsy Banned Banned

    A photographic memory can be developed and used to only be possible in a dark room, though digital is getting way more popular.

    Sorry, with all the brainy talk I had to throw a silly in the mix.

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