Do People Really Have Photographic Memories?

You've probably heard of the fictional character Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes is a detective from England who is known for his intelligence and sharp memory in solving mysterious criminal cases. Many people believe that Sherlock Holmes had a photographic memory. However, what is meant by photographic memory? Does anyone have this type of memory in real life? Check out the answer below.

What is photographic memory?

Photographic memory is the ability to remember events, pictures, numbers, sounds, smells, and other things in great detail. Memories that have been recorded in the brain can then be easily recalled whenever the information is needed.

A neuroscience specialist from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, dr. Barry Gordon explained to Scientific American how this memory works. According to him, photographic memory is similar to photography with a camera. You photograph an event or object with your mind. Then you save the portrait in a photo album. When you need certain information from the portrait, you can easily open your photo album. You just have to look at the photo, zoom in (zoom in) or zoom out (zoom out) where you want, and the information will come back to your memory as if it were still fresh.

For example, you have studied the history of the kingdom of the archipelago in elementary school. People with photographic memory are able to remember with certainty the period of each kingdom and its territory. After all, it was ten years ago. Or you remember exactly the license plate of the vehicle that hit you two months ago, with just a quick glance.

Whereas human memory is not that sophisticated and accurate. You may remember your breakfast menu this morning. However, do you remember what your breakfast menu was two weeks ago? It's hard to remember, isn't it?

Could anyone have a photographic memory?

Scientifically, there is no evidence that humans can have a photographic memory. So, this memory is only fictitious. Psychiatrist and neurologist Larry R. Squire explained that if photographic memory really existed, the person suspected of having this ability should be able to read back the contents of all novels that have been read without looking at the text at all. In reality, no human can do it.

There are people who have extraordinary memories. There are even world-class championships held to test the memory of these great people. However, the participants of this championship have been training hard for years with a special strategy. In everyday life, they can still forget where they parked the vehicle or forget that they had an appointment with someone. This is proof that no one has the ability to remember accurately without the slightest error.

A similar phenomenon often occurs in children

Although the theory of photographic memory has been dismissed by scientists and experts, there is a rare phenomenon that is very similar to photographic memory. This phenomenon that usually occurs in children is called eidetic memory.

Eidetic memory, according to a psychologist Alan Searleman, is the ability to remember an event or object accurately within a few minutes. For example, a child sees a painting of a flower garden. Then the painting will be covered. Children with eidetic memory can remember how many petals there are on a particular flower in the painting.

However, eidetic memory is not the same as photographic. The child with this talent is unable to remember the number of flower petals in the painting he saw two days ago. He can only accurately remember the things he saw in the interval of a few minutes.

Unfortunately, a number of studies show that this ability to remember will disappear on its own with age. Experts suspect that the human brain will indeed "throw away" information or memories that are no longer needed. If you don't throw it away, the capacity of the human brain can't contain so much information since you were born.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

Contact Form