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Photgraphic memory

  1. Dec 13, 2007 #1
    I want to develop and train my photographic memory.

    Can anyone please give me tips.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2007 #2
    its usually a gift, or something you get from lots of certain types experience, which takes years, nothing you can really learn to be beneficial for exams in the near future :)

    find different ways of studying, the ones that have been working for you.
     
  4. Dec 14, 2007 #3

    Math Is Hard

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    I can only recall one case study of "photographic memory" that wasn't debunked in the lab.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photographic_memory

    If it exists, it's very rare.
     
  5. Dec 14, 2007 #4

    Ben Niehoff

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    I have pretty damn good memory, although I don't think I would qualify as eidetic. I attribute my good memory to being too lazy to write anything down. I almost never take notes (if I have paper in front of me in class, I typically doodle, or try to work out unrelated problems). Under ordinary circumstances I don't write down appointments or lists of tasks.

    I can draw detailed maps of every place I've ever lived (which amounts to some 20+ places), and probably decent maps of any building I've been in. I'm pretty good at visualization in general, really...to my classical mechanics professor's consternation, I solved an inertia tensor eigenvalue/vector problem on a midterm by drawing a picture, rotating it in my head, and writing down the answers. :P (Granted, there were only three point masses to keep track of, and they formed an isosceles triangle to boot).

    I never forget the spelling of any word I've seen in print, even such sesquipedalian monsters as "antidisestablishmentarianism", "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", and "floccinaucinihilipilification". And I do decently well at learning languages.

    I remember the vast majority of musical pieces I've ever played on cello or piano, without making any specific effort to remember them (usually, they are stuck in my memory after I've played them just once). However, it's always easier to remember something that you physically do.

    I have never tried any memorization tasks, like phone numbers or chess boards or digits of pi. Mostly because I hate memorizing things.

    But I do sometimes forget things, especially if I wasn't paying attention (which is often, if the information is something I don't care about).

    Also, I have synaesthesia, which is mentioned in the Wiki article. I think this is responsible for my ability to spell, since each letter has a unique "intrinsic color" to me, and colors are much easier to remember; a word that is misspelled generally looks grossly out of whack.

    The closest I've come to "photographic" memory, I think, is on a history test in high school. I couldn't remember all the details we were supposed to know, so I concentrated and visualized the teacher's study handout he had given us a few days earlier. And then I simply read the notes. I felt like I was cheating, actually. But at the same time, I wasn't absolutely sure that what I was seeing was exactly what was supposed to be there, and there were many parts of the text that I couldn't quite focus on in order to read them. So, while I was certainly visualizing the note sheet, I didn't have every last detail, and my brain could very well have filled in the important parts wrongly.
     
  6. Dec 14, 2007 #5

    Math Is Hard

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    Note: moved to GD since this really doesn't belong in General Physics.
     
  7. Dec 14, 2007 #6

    robphy

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    don't forget the "o" :tongue:
     
  8. Dec 15, 2007 #7
    I worked with a gal who was an expert with MIBs which is a management data base used in telecommunications with syntax like this:

    FooProtocol DEFINITIONS ::= BEGIN

    FooQuestion ::= SEQUENCE {
    trackingNumber INTEGER,
    question VisibleString
    }

    FooAnswer ::= SEQUENCE {
    questionNumber INTEGER,
    answer BOOLEAN
    }

    END

    and that is a simple example. She could produce the stuff flawlessly verbatim. I'm talking about thousands of lines of the strangest illogical mishmash. She claimed that she could remember verbatim everything she had ever read.
     
  9. Dec 15, 2007 #8

    Danger

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    I wish that my memory was photographic, but it's just underdeveloped. :frown:
     
  10. Dec 15, 2007 #9

    dst

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    :rofl:


    I can somewhat relate to Ben Niehoff. I don't have synesthesia per se, but I do have linked senses in some way. Misspelled words look really odd and without knowing how the word is misspelled, it still sticks out like a sore thumb. In any case, I'm a heavily visual thinker and absolutely horrid at maths as a result (the more abstract stuff). My memory is rubbish or excellent but never in between.

    In any case, to develop your photographic memory, just sit in a dark room under a red lamp for a while.
     
  11. Dec 15, 2007 #10

    JasonRox

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    How do you determine if you have really good memory?

    Studies show that a lot of our memories are distorted and sometimes so distorted that the event never took place sometimes.

    Studies even show that when people are more certain than ever, they are more likely to have actually distorted information about the event. So in reality they are confident they remember correctly, but it's not correct at all.

    So, whenever I hear someone say they have good memory, I think it's rather silly. I used to think I had really good memory, but I dropped that whole thing.
     
  12. Dec 15, 2007 #11
    I think that this is one thing that I realized--is that I think that something is really important, where I HAD to know it, that it was or could be important to my future, I could remember it more permanently. Things that hurt you or threaten seem to be remembered as it could it life saving the next time the situation presented itself--so, in a way, if I want to remember something, I think of those things/ideas of self preservation to remember things in those terms.
     
  13. Dec 15, 2007 #12

    Math Is Hard

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    That's interesting. What I am wondering is if this "illogical mishmash" was actually meaningful to her in a way that she could semantically process it in chunks. For instance, storing the sequence DSTFBICNNCIA would be difficult, unless one broke it into meaningful acronym chunks: DST FBI CNN CIA. If one is very practiced, it's possible for obscure syntax can be chunked up to allow more abstract levels of conscious processing - the details are just processed automatically. So while

    "FooQuestion ::= SEQUENCE {
    trackingNumber INTEGER,
    question VisibleString
    }
    "

    might look like a strange and complicated to us, for an expert it may just exist in memory as a single, meaningful unit. Chess masters do something like this in that they chunk meaningful board arrangements of chess pieces in memory.
    http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu/mastascu/eLessonsHTML/ProbSolv/PSExpert.html
     
  14. Dec 15, 2007 #13

    dst

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    That chunk of code/gibberish looks not much different to me than C. How about maths? The more advanced stuff looks like pure gibberish to me but people still understand it.
     
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