Many people enjoy hobbies that allow them to create something new. Whether you are a knitter or a scrapbooker, you are likely to remember details about every item you make. If you find yourself forgetting something significant, it may not be necessary to use an actual method to recall it.

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Results from one study suggest that people with HSAM are no better at acquiring memories – they are not superior learners – but are simply better at retaining memories. To constitute photographic or eidetic memory, the visual recall must persist without the use of mnemonics, expert talent, or other cognitive strategies. Various cases have been reported that rely on such skills and are erroneously attributed to photographic memory. 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. It may be described as the ability to briefly look at a page of information and then recite it perfectly from memory. There is a similar phenomenon called eidetic memory that occurs in 2-10% of children. … However, eidetic memories only last for a few minutes at most.

This is a technique that involves grouping items together to improve sequential memory by having each item in mind generate a complete series of items. Many mnemonists credit chunking as their primary mnemonic device.

In the scientific literature, the term eidetic imagery comes closest to what is popularly called photographic memory. The most common way to identify eidetikers is by the Picture Elicitation Method. Photographic memory is often confused with another bizarre—but real—perceptual phenomenon called eidetic memory, which occurs in between 2 and 15 percent of children and very rarely in adults.

However, there are lifestyle and dietary changes that can improve your overall working memory. For example, visual working memory is integral to our daily lives. The mind can store information from visual stimuli, allowing us to tale relevant action. However, our visual working memory can only store small amounts of visual data. Super card sharks can memorize the order of a shuffled deck of cards in less than a minute. But people with Herculean memories tend to be adept at one specific task—i.e., a person who memorizes cards may be inept at recognizing faces.

Eidetic memory is more common in children, with only about 2 to 15% of American children under 12 exhibiting this trait. Taking short breaks can improve your job performance as well as your health.


Naturally, there are many ways to describe the varieties of what people remember and how. While the different brands of memory are not always described in exactly the same way by memory researchers, some key concepts have emerged. Varying from games played for fun to games played by formal groups, memory competitions are a great way to boost your recall. While you may not win every contest, you will undoubtedly learn new strategies that will help improve your recall over time. However, you are likely to remember everything else that was in that room at the time.

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Forensic psychology

One of the keys to understanding psychology is to know about its history and core questions. This free course, Investigating psychology, allows you to explore psychology using an interactive resource. You can follow links to people, contexts, perspectives and methods to discover information, images and links from across psychology. Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. WikiHow’s Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. Drinking excessive alcohol can block key receptors in the brain that are necessary for memory retention, and may release a steroid that interferes with learning and memory. Avoid trying to multitask when you are reading for information.

Other memory-related savant abilities that have been observed include recitating complex musical compositions or reproducing visual scenes after very little exposure to them. Highly superior autobiographical memory is thought to be very rare. As of the mid-2010s, according to an expert report, fewer than 100 people with highly superior autobiographical memory ability had been found. Some awe-inspiring individuals develop highly unusual abilities to remember particular kinds of information—personal experiences, historical facts, musical compositions, or others. These powers of memory can arise in the absence of extensive training, and the cause is often unclear. And they can appear in people who are otherwise intellectually ordinary, or who show deficits in other areas of cognitive functioning. The vast potential of the human brain becomes especially clear in the domain of memory.

Do you have a photographic memory? Open University