How can one get a perfect memory or photographic memory

I heard of this military method of getting a near perfect or photographic memory. They say that you have a paragraph piece of paper. You then can take that paper to a dark room then flash the lights on and off. You must focus on that paragraph. They say that after 1 month of 15 min sessions. You will be able to take snapshots of text and things. I’m skeptical but so desperate that I’m trying it.
Does anybody know another way? I have to memorize so much info in my college textbooks. I tried mnemonics but I ended up wasting 1 year of my time. Please help.

Be very skeptical of this kind of claim. The brain doesn’t work like a camera. If it turns out to work, well then I guess we’ll see some of their research subjects crushing everyone at the World Memory Championships.

Are you being asked to memorize a lot of stuff? I remember college as learning how to solve a lot of problems, learning how to analyze, how to research, how to form opinions and back them up. In other words, not a lot of memorization. But then again, I didn’t go to Law School or Med School, and those guys supposedly have to retain a lot of facts. Did you study some of Alex Mullen’s methods? He’s a medical school student AND 2-time World Memory Champion.

You can’t train your brain so you can have a photographic memory. Some people are able to do it because they are born with it. It has to do with some cross wiring in the brain. What you described is an after image effect. You may be able to pick things out here and there but it eventually goes away and you never actually remembered anything.

I wouldn’t try any of that. It would be a complete waste of time. Memory techniques are the closest thing to having a perfect memory. The problem is that people don’t have patience to use memory techniques everyday and develop the skill.

There is no such thing as a ‘perfect memory’ or ‘photographic memory’. Some programs claim to give you a photographic memory, while in the first place, their claims would give you an eidetic memory if they were true, not a photographic memory. That already shows they got no clue what they are talking about and automatically makes them a waste of time and money.

I don’t think the military method will work for a normal person. The human visual perception system isn’t suitable to take ‘photos’ like a camera. There is a small area on the retina, called fovea centralis, that enables you to perceive pictures sharp enough to read text, mainly within an angle that covers the thumb nail on the outstretched arm. Take a look at this picture on wikipedia:

Of course it is possible to recognize blurred words considering their shape and length, especially familiar ones. But an entire paragraph? You can try it yourself. Look at a word near the center of a paragraph and try to identify words at the edges without glimpsing.