Many of us are able to recall a familiar scene, say, the street your house is on. But how many people can actually recall every single detail of that scene? The ability to do so is referred to as having a photographic memory. But is photographic memory an imaginary concept? Or is it really possible? Keep reading to find out, plus learn how to help your kids improve their memory.
Photographic memory: is it real?
Some believe that people who are able to recall a picture with great detail simply have not lost their eidetic memory from when they were a child, as mentioned in a DNews video. Unfortunately, there have not actually been any studies that prove that photographic memory is real.
However, according to the video mentioned previously, there was one study done on the brains of eleven different people who have similar cognitive abilities. The results showed that these people actually had different brains than most people, which aided in their memory abilities. So, while it might not be proven that there is such a thing as photographic memory, some people are naturally better at remembering things than others.
Nonetheless, our memories are known to not always be reliable. John Green, a famous teen novelist discusses his experience of flashbulb memories and memory storage in this video. In short, his very clear memory of a dog pooping in a Nintendo was actually not what really happened. This of course becomes a problem when ethics are involved, such as in the case of court disputes. This TEDTalk explores the “fiction of memory” and “false memories, when people either remember things that didn’t happen or remember them differently from the way they really were” (as it is put in the description of the video).
How to help your kids improve their memory
One way that some people have a better memory is by following certain memorization techniques, whether they just know them subconsciously or practice them once they learn them. In his TEDTalk on memory, Joshua Foer explains that many people who compete in memory competitions actually consider themselves to have an average memory. However, what sets them apart is that they have trained themselves to perform ‘miraculous’ memory tricks by following ancient techniques. So, it is definitely possible to train a so-called ‘average’ memory.
One way to help your kids improve their memory is by approaching it in the way they learn best. For example, if your child is a visual learner, colour-coding notes may help them remember the important points. Or, if your child is an auditory learner, saying something over and over again that they need to memorize will most likely help them get it stuck in their head.
Another approach you can take is to play some memory-boosting games with your kids. This could mean playing a simple game of memory, where your kids have to make pairs out of different pictures that are flipped over. Or, you can find some fun games online, like at http://www.photographicmemorygame.com.