Eidetic memory?

The information on the page seems pretty old. 1979 is 40 years ago. I can’t find many recent papers either.

However, so far I still show the signs of eidetic memory. What they describe does sound a lot how I experience my visual memory. When I recall an image of something I see it in front of me and with the right colors and like I said before, I can remember them for a very long time, sometimes much longer than a couple of minutes. When I was learning math, I remembered the equations for days before I wrote them down in my notebook. When I recall something I only see an image, I don’t know what it is like otherwise. Even when I do mental calculations I see the numbers vividly. I often don’t see what is in front of me because I only see the numbers and I can manipulate them like you would on a paper.

I hope I can get checked out because I am still not certain about anything. It would be interesting if I do have an eidetic memory because I am an adult, I don’t think I am going to lose it since I am already 21.


I was trying to find original sources and came across Mental Imagery by Robert G. Kunzendorf. It seems to be widely cited when referring to eidetic memory. (I found a used copy online and will post an update if there is anything interesting in it.)

There are also some of his papers mentioned here.

I think that Boris works on memory research in the Netherlands. He might know of someone there who has enough knowledge about that kind of memory to test you.


Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. What you can do is very intriguing. I would like to learn more about your abilities. Is it okay to ask some questions?

I literally see 937×478 in my mind and also the steps I take to calculate it

How clear are the images you see with your inner eye? Does the actual environment become blurry when you do so? Do you focus on just a handful of digits at a time, or is the picture sharp as a whole?

Then what about my ability to calculate multiplications like 34,739 × 58,932 in my head
… ask him what 312,623 × 79,451 is, it would probably take him an hour to calculate …

The numbers in the examples are growing bigger and bigger. Do you really calculate things like 312,623 × 79,451 in your head without error, or in most cases without error? How long does it take you to do so? Have you ever used a timer to stop time?

About 6 months or so I was learning math for a short while. I remember how satisfying it felt to still know all the equations of the first, second, third and fourth video while I was busy watching the 5th without ever looking back or writing anything down.

The complexity of mathematical equations varies widely. Could you give some examples of the equations you remembered, or some that are similar in difficulty? Also, about how many of these equations were treated in each video?

Another odd but simple feat that suggest eidetic memory is my ability to solve a wordsearch after learning the location of each word and then solve the wordsearch without the list of words.

How many wordsearch puzzles have you done this way? Since when?

Thanks for your time and effort, I appreciate it.

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I just saw some links to papers about eidetic memory in this paper: Synesthesia and Memory


In the context of memory performance and imagery, it is also important to consider eidetic memory. It can be described as the persistence of a visual image after the according stimulus has been removed (Allport, 1924). It is to be differentiated from non-visual memory and afterimages. In contrast to afterimages, eye movements during stimulus inspection do no prevent eidetic images from occurring, additionally they are positive in colouration and do not shift with eye movements (Girayetal., 1976; Haber, 1979). Eidetic imagery is predominantly, but rarely, found in children from 6 to 12 years and virtually absent in adult populations (Girayetal., 1976). It is important to mention that eidetic imagery is not photographic and hence does not generally benefit memory performance (cf., Haber, 1979).

I haven’t read the referenced papers yet, but they might be worth checking out.


I’m not saying Eidectic memory isn’t important to study, just that as a practical kind of memory it’s limited to a few minutes usually, and so to me isn’t that important from a real-world standpoint. Of course, it’s of great interests to empirical psychologists, as are cases like Kim Peek, or HM for exploring the capabilities and functions of the human brain.

And of course, Kim Peek was exceptional even for a mega-savant. But, his prodigious abilities and memory came at an awful cost, costs which I don’t believe anyone would actually choose just so that they could have his abilities. And so, there lies the rub. It seems to be the case that if a person has some prodigious ability in one or two areas (mega-savants in more areas), they usually suffer almost equivalent deficits in other arguably more important areas. Kim Peek, for example, couldn’t live by himself.

It is of course my bias, but I really only value memory abilities that ensure bettering long-term recall, not an enhancement of immediate recall that would last but a few minutes. So perhaps in the future, a genetically modified brain could have photographic recall. However the human brain evolved also to forget. I actually think that photographic recall of everything would be a handicap. What I think most people would actually want would be photographic recall of declarative semantic memory; that too could perhaps be accomplished in the future with genetic manipulation.

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@Finwing sorry that I haven’t responded yet. I’ve been busy creating a video to demonstrate my abilities. I will answer all your questions in that video and more.

I want to apologize in advance for my english, I am not used to talking it as I am writing it.

I will probably create a new topic and upload the video there so that if new people see the topic, they see the video first and don’t have to scroll through other posts.

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No problem, take your time please. I’m looking forward to watch the video :slight_smile:


Alright, so I’ve almost finished part 1 of the video which is about my calculating skills. Part 2 is about my memory. I think I will have the whole video done tomorrow so you can expect the video to be up on tuesday. I will put a link in the new topic to the video because it is too large to upload to the forum.

I am excited because I can show you guys that I am legit, most of you probably already think that but for those sceptics out there, this is the truth:)


Video is up!:slight_smile:

I created a new topic called Eidetic memory part 2 and put a link to it there.

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That sounds like an excellent idea. I’m sure it would take a lot less time than the 20 days and 20 long posts that have been written so far by generous volunteers - who are obviously very keen to help.

Opinions, ideas, and suggestions are fine when no official accreditation facilities are available. But in this case, I’m sure there are many psychology departments who would be delighted to assist. There will be many grads looking for a postgrad project.

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Well, not really. I can’t find any programs looking for someone like me and I don’t know how to approach anyone either. I have an appointment with a psychologist in one and a half week but that is to get my diagnoses for autism on paper. I don’t know if they will look at my abilities. I’ve been denied an IQ test in the past because they thought it wasn’t necessary, even though I was there to find out what was going with me in the first place. They didn’t find out btw, I had a severe meltdown and found out myself that I am on the spectrum. Never heard from them again.

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I agree with Celtic’s suggestion. Get checked out by the pros. Here you get everyone’s opinion of what these words mean and they can have different meanings in plain speech compared with the way psychologist use them. Also you know what you have, finding a label for it won’t change the nature your abilities.

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I don’t know what I have. I know what I can do but I don’t know what I have. Except autism.

Like I just said in a post right before this one, it isn’t that easy to get checked out by the pros because I can’t find any pros to get checked out by. Thankfully I have at least one appointment soon but I had to wait more than 3 months for it and I don’t know if they will check out my abilities.

I had a conversation with my girlfriend a few days ago about this. I want to get checked out, to be found or something but the time for people like me is gone. Do you know what stories like Jacob Barnett, Daniel Tammet, Kim peek, Shakuntala Devi, Rudiger Gamm, Arthur Benjamin, Scott Flansburg, Stephen Wiltshire etc all have in common? They have all been told years ago. Sure, people are still impressed when they encounter them but the real interest is gone. Research was done, documentaries made and tv shows released. Especially in my country is interest non-existent. I have to present myself if I want to roll some eyes but this goes against my nature. I want my abilities to speak for themselves but there is nobody to hear them. If the psychologist won’t help me further then I wouldn’t know what to do.

I have a lot of anxiety and fear. One fear is that I would die without anyone knowing about what I could do. Heart problems is very common in my family and the fact that I am autistic makes this worse because, and this is very unknown, people with autism die on average 12 years earlier because of heartfailure or self-inflicted damage. Severe autistics sometimes even earlier than that, which is where I gravitate towards. Also, unlucky random death is a thing, a lot of people die unexpected from something random. This is one of the reasons I don’t like to drive a car and preferably never want to drive one. It would really suck if I can’t let people know about me.


I would definitely say Johnny is a synesthete. His variety of synesthesia is called ordinal linguistic personification, or OLP.

Having synesthesia for numbers can naturally help with doing mental calculations. I myself excelled at math in elementary/primary school - my synesthesia allowed me to easily remember and estimate answers to math problems because of my mental location and color for each number. If I know that seven times twelve has green in it, then it must be 80-something, even if I don’t remember precisely that it’s 84.

I was good at algebra by secondary school but poor at geometry because geometry is a more visual mathematical subject and I’m not a visual thinker, meaning I have trouble estimating depth and angle size, for instance.

As for the autistic savant thing in Johnny’s case, I’m not sure getting checked out by supposed experts would help determine whether or not he qualifies as one. After all, they said Daniel Tammet was one despite his use of memory techniques for mental calculations and such. (Tammet, for the record, has fascinated me for a long time - since early 2009. I believe he has synesthesia and high-functioning autism for real, and only uses the savant label for himself because of supposed autism experts saying he was one).

My recommendation for Johnny is that he may want to start a blog about his abilities, and certainly get his heart issues checked out by a doctor. The folks he mentioned had their “15 minutes of fame” so to speak. I’d also suggest that he look into Jerry Newport, an American with Asperger’s syndrome/high-functioning autism who was diagnosed in adulthood and has similar abilities (he is now 71 years old, and his wife also has Asperger’s - they met in a support group for people with Asperger’s, and wrote their story in the book Mozart and the Whale).


I actually have the movie, Mozart & The Whale and I know its release year too, haha, 2005 :slight_smile:

Daniel Tammet was my idol for a very long time. During that time, I refused to believe that he used techniques or was a fraud. My thoughts were always:“I didn’t have to use techniques so why should he?” After I found out that he participated in memory matches under a different name, my opinion about him changed immediately. After my first meltdown a few years ago, I was mentally exhausted and didn’t leave the house for months. In that period I watched Daniel Tammet’s documentary every day at least 5 times, sometimes 10 times and did this for weeks because his documentary soothed me. I must have seen his documentary more than 150 times.

I’m not surprised that you empathize with him so much.

It was Foer’s book that taught me that a lot of the memory athlete community doesn’t think much of Tammet calling himself a savant. It doesn’t help that I have seen conflicting info about him online from various sources. The researchers who diagnosed Tammet as being a savant did not do extensive research on the backstory of his abilities like Foer did.

I discussed these accusations with an autistic friend of mine who brought up the fact that Tammet was fascinated by numbers and words as a kid, and that, combined with both his synesthesia and memory techniques, is why he has the skills he does. Autistic people, as you know, can get so deeply invested into a preferred topic that they become an expert in it. Had I personally been interested in math as a child (I was not), I could have developed my math skills further than they naturally were already.

I have a link I can PM you regarding a direct response from Tammet to someone who wrote to him regarding what Foer wrote in Chapter 10 of Moonwalking with Einstein about him.

I would love to read Tammet’s response, could you sent it, please?

And that is another reason why Tammet isn’t legit and also another difference between him and I. My gift for numbers was already there. I started showing interest in numbers after my gift for numbers was discovered when I was young.

Figured as much, since I was able to add links in the old forum.

Here is the link in question: https://simonsingh.net/2016/04/brainman/

Doing tournaments under a different name and not being honest about it was Tammet’s biggest mistake. He didn’t even talk about the part of him participating in tournaments in his response.

I don’t want to end up like Daniel Tammet, that’s why I speak so openly about my abilities on places like these because I want people to know that they are true. There are still dangers though.

I am planning on creating a topic about another memory feat I discovered recently and this one might be more controversial than my other feats because I feel like this new feat could be too much.

Some while ago I created a topic where I said I can memorize cards. So now I can memorize long strings of numbers, memorize cards, do large calculations in my head, learn information really fast without notes and recall the release year of hundreds of movies. I can see how this could create some disbelief in some people, like how it did with Daniel Tammet. With this new feat I discovered, it could be the last drop in the bucket for some people reading all of this. I’ll put everything on the table on that one as to not create any confusion, just like I’ve been doing with everything else.

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I’m really interested in hearing about your new feat.