All of us remember many things in our lives which have so far happened, not all of them but yes, we do remember. However, these memories can be playing with our childhood friends, winning a prize in a competition for the first time, getting a promotion at work, etc. We all know what we see also gets embedded in our memory. Many a time we remember the routes by visual stimulus of the place, or when we say Paris, we remember the Eiffel tower and its picture is seen in our brain. This is basically the photographic memory.
What is memory?
Memory is a psychological process to receive, store, retain and retrieve information by a stimulus. Besides, memory has three important processes which are encoding, storage and retrieval. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are memory related diseases (MSEd, 2022).
A model proposed by Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin in 1968 explained the three types of memories. The three types of memories are:
- Sensory Memory
- Short-term Memory
- Long-term Memory
The earliest stage of memory is sensory memory. In addition, the information is received by the senses from the environment and is stored for a very short period of time. Sensory memory also has two types one is the iconic memory, and one is the echoic memory. The iconic memory deals with visual stimuli and the echoic memory deals with the auditory stimuli (MSEd, 2022).
The difference between eidetic memory and photographic memory:
Eidetic memory is the recalling of images and objects with an unexceptional accuracy. Whereas photographic memory is defined as the memory which is imprinted in the brain like a photograph. Both these concepts have been totally discovered by researchers (Examining the Differences Between Eidetic Memory and Photographic Memory, n.d.). And both these concepts are confused with each other. These are some of the differences seen between the two concepts:
- It is seen that the eidetic memory lasts only for a brief moment. This moment is even less than a second before slipping out of the mind.
- Eidetic memory enables individuals to retain it with ease. All the individuals possess eidetic memory.
- Photographic memory helps more in understanding the visual cues from the past (Examining the Differences Between Eidetic Memory and Photographic Memory, n.d.).
Is there any effect of photographic memory on memorization of study materials:
A study was conducted on the undergraduate students at Shivaji University in Kolhapur. The study took BSc. Botany students as their participants. The study focused on the effects of memory for memorization of plant physiology the unit of “Growth and Development.” The unit of “Growth and Development” has several subunits with which the effect of photographic memory was seen (Gokhale et al., 2015).
The students were given a time of four days to study for the pre-test. The students were provided with photographic materials like diagrams, graphs, flowcharts, etc. The study had a total number of 40 participants. As a result, an increase in the marks was seen for the post-test rather than the pre-test. The study showed that photographic memory is suitable for studying the unit of “Growth and Development” in plant physiology (Gokhale et al., 2015).
In the study, Flow charts were seen to be most preferred over the others. Followed by flowcharts verbal abstraction and Venn diagrams were seen useful (Gokhale et al., 2015).
Advantages of Photographic memory:
There are some advantages of having a photographic, which can be stated as follows:
- It helps make your life and daily routine easy. As an example, let us consider if you are finding an object, with photographic memory it would be easier for you to find the object in a few seconds.
- It helps in studying and memorizing study material in an efficient way for examinations and tests in your school, college, or universities.
- Having a photographic memory can help you understand and remember all the routes of the city, which decreases the chances of you getting lost (The Good and Bad Things, n.d.).
Disadvantages of photographic memory:
Every coin has two sides, likewise, having photographic also has disadvantages which can be stated as follows:
- People who have photographic memory are expected to be perfectionists, but it has been proven that people with photographic memory can also make mistakes.
- Saying bye to your favorite people is hard if you have photographic memory. This is because you remember everything you see, which is why it becomes difficult.
- You might think people remember the same things as you but in situations you realize they do not (The Good and Bad Things, n.d.).
A stimulus can be used to receive, store, retain, and retrieve information through the psychological process of memory. The encoding, storage, and retrieval processes are three of its crucial processes. The three types of memories—sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory—were described in a model put forth by Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin in 1968. Photographic memory is the memory that is imprinted in the brain like a photograph. Whereas eidetic memory is the recalling of images and objects with ordinary accuracy. Researchers have identified the differences between these two ideas.
A study at Shivaji University in Kolhapur found that photographic memory can be used to study the unit of “Growth and Development” in plant physiology. Furthermore, the most popular flowcharts were Venn diagrams, verbal abstraction flowcharts, and flowcharts. Photographic memory can make daily tasks and life easier, but it can also lead to errors and make it difficult to say goodbye to friends. In conclusion that the photographic memory has its own positive and negative influences.