Photographic memory test

A collegue of mine is really confinced he has a photographic memory, and that he would easily be able to do the test one needs to be able to do to prove it. I read about it in ‘Moonwalking with einstein’, a test with two images that would form a picture when layed on top of eachother. The book said the test was in a newspaper, with one image on day 1, and the other on day 2. I hope you know the test I’m talking about.

Does anyone know where to find it? I kinda want to let the guy put his money where his mouth is

You might try this link to see if it is what you want

I took a grad seminar on hypnosis. I attendee regressed a subject back to the age of 5 when she had eidetic memory. She was able to combine two seemingly meaningless random dot images together into a meaningful pattern. The sample size and lack on rigorous methodology make in only anecdotal.

I took that test at that link, and it confirmed what I already knew, namely, that I don’t have a photographic memory. If he passes that test, you should get him entered into the next USA Memory Championship. If he really does have a photographic memory, he should be head and shoulders above everyone else. He should be able to look at the 117 Names and Faces for just a minute or less and recall them all perfectly, for example, something no one has ever done (Although I think Nelson’s getting close!)

Ask him to take Nelson Dellis’ memory challenge:

Then read The Woman Who Can’t Forget:

He should also check out Unforgettable, the documentary on Brad Williams:

It would be very exciting if he did have this skill, but if he doesn’t do stuff like Brad Williams and Jill Price, then he probably hasn’t got it.

Every day he has to be reminded of the things he had to do, so he certainly has no photographic memory. I must admit I don’t even believe anyone does, as a photographic memory would also include that the stored memories can’t be altered. I do believe some people get incredibly close, like Kim Peek or Stephen Wiltshire, but I am not confinced that their memory is detailed enough to be photographic. In social terms they might have a photographic memory, but for as far as I’ve seen their work, their memory still doesn’t cover all kinds of memories. I also don’t know if they memorize it as raw data, or if their brain also uses a sort of “encryption”, like we do with the systems we develop. Socially, their memory can be labelled photographic, but scientifically I am not convinced.

That doesn’t take away that they don’t amaze me, they do amazing things.

Today I also let my collegue take the tests to prove he has a photographic memory, I explained the tests, he said he could do them easily, he failed badly, he blamed the tests. sigh

I’m pretty skeptical about the existence of photographic memory. If it existed, wouldn’t someone have won a memory championship with it? There is a lot of prize money at some of the competitions. Every single competitor that I’ve ever heard of uses memory techniques. :slight_smile:

Two articles about it:

Some people do have exceptional memories, but from what I’ve read, memory doesn’t work like a camera.

In this week’s episode of Superhuman, the first competitor was a veteran who claimed that “photographic memory” was her superhuman skill. She ended up being one of the top three finalists this week, but didn’t win.

Others have competed on the show who excel at finding visual details, but that’s not the same as photographic memory (which is extremely rare, if it exists at all). The term photographic memory is one that the layperson would consider impressive, which is the whole purpose of putting her on the show. But we here know to be skeptical of such claims.

Does she know about memory competitions, and if so, why hasn’t she competed in the American one as far as I’m aware? I feel like I’d’ve recognized her name if she’d gotten a top score in a memory competition previously, as I did with fellow contestant Ram Kolli.

I learned the show was back on this summer at all through AlexM’s tweet about being on last week’s episode. I love seeing memory athletes and mental calculators on shows like this one because none of us claim to be anything special - memory techniques aren’t some sort of secret.