Can anyone explain this to me(Whether iconic memory has unlimited capacity according to Wikipedia or it has the capacity of 8-9 items)

I had read the words below in Wikipedia with here
By 5 years of age, children have developed the same unlimited capacity of iconic memory that adults possess. The duration of informational persistence however increases from approximately 200 ms at age 5, to an asymptotic level of 1000 ms as an adult (>11 years).

but in another website I had read that iconic memory has a capacity of 8-9 items and now I can not understand whether Iconic Memory has unlimited capacity or the capacity of 8-9 items,

Can anyone explain this to me,


A lot of people make their own definitions for things like iconic memory, that is why different definitions appear to exist. As such it is better to define exactly what you actually mean rather than using the term.

After-image memory does not have a seemingly consistent limited capacity.

The wiki article appears to talk about, what is left of the image after you close your eyes or look away.
Such capacity is indeed not particularly limited, but rather deteriorates at faster rates proportionally.

Detail is important.

I believe that the memory for images is called iconic memory and this along with the iconic memory capacity for memory palaces and the ways by which the duration of iconic memory can be increased is exactly what I mean.

I know that using distinct locations can increase the duration of iconic memory by upto 4 seconds and maybe using a Person-Action-Modifier system or modifiers in the system which he is using a person can increase the duration of his iconic memory.

If that is what you define iconic memory as, then the capacity often is in some ways limited. For example, you can be in a loci and place 1000 items in that loci, but it doesn’t exactly mean you have enough space or the same comprehension of each item at the same time, just as if there were only 3 items.

That said, if you use multiple loci this is not the case. In that sense, what you can display simultaneously is somewhat limited but not so much what you display serially. In both cases improvements can definitely be made.

In terms of increasing the duration of that. There are definitely many ways this can be done, just using a memory palace can increase the duration by a day in some cases. I have experienced ‘encoding information and then being able to see it in my head much more clearly’, so I would say that this too, can definitely work.

Iconic memory is the memory of the retina and is as unlimited as everything in the visual field that impresses itself on the retina in one instance.

It’s not the same as an after image. Iconic memory exists so that the brain can analyze the field on the retina in order to decide whether or not to bring a certain visual stimulus within the field to your attention.