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The Basics of Photographic Memory

A person with eidetic memory, more popularly called photographic memory, have the ability to recall and reconstruct a mental image (picture or sound) that consists of copious amounts of information.

Who's got it?

Thereare many claims to this extraordinary ability, after all who wouldn't want to possess it? However, statistics show that the reality is that only a 5% of children possess it, of which a disappointing percentage loses it with age.


Itis a widely known fact that monks in the middle ages have used techniques of memorizing things by use of imagery. There have also been claims that many people that have gone down in history in bold (Mozart and Monet), have had the ability as well – although this has never been and is now impossible to verify.

Curiously,there have been people who have been known to have memory problems, in contrast proven to have also possessed this very talent.

Examples of People With Photographic Memory

KimPeek (born in 1951), has a strange congenital brain abnormality and was born with a certain type of brain damage. The nerve connections of his two hemispheres occur less frequently than they ought to occur. Due to the lack of nerves connecting the two hemispheres, it has been noted that they occasionally create alternative connections which, in his case, grant him enhanced memory capacity. All thanks to this strange disability, Mr. Peek is now still able to remember things since he was 16 months old.

Anotherinteresting case is that of Orlando Serrell (born in 1968). Orlando was a regular kid at birth, but an event at the age of 10 during which he had suffered a serous left-hemisphere trauma has changed everything. Orlando then suffered a prolonged headache, but almost immediately after it had finally ended, the ability to perform caliadrical calculations almost instantly had somehow kicked in as well. That means that he would be able to tell you which day you were born on if you gave him your birth date. Another curious side effect would be his ability to remember exactly what the weather was like, any single moment on any given date of his life.

NikolaTesla,taking into consideration the nickname "the man who invented the 20th century", was a genius who needs no introduction. He was born in the Austrian Empire in 1886. Aside from the most prominent achievements that made his name a historical threshold, Tesla was also known to have the ability to memorize complete books, wall to wall. He was also known to have suffered from hallucinations as well as a case of involuntary photographic memory episodes, during which he recalled memory visuals in great detail.


Therehas also been a great deal of fictional characters who have been imagined to have had this ability. One amongst them is Data (of 'Star Trek'), Superman, Jason Bourne (of 'The Bourne Identity'), and a number of others.

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