I myself claim to have eidetic memory. I believe that the only reason I do well on a test is because I can picture where the exact answer is on my study guide or on the notes I wrote down. I had always thought it to be a science, one that was proven to be true. After all, I thought I had a form of until I read articles that disproved it as a science.
Upon my research I realize that there is no scientific evidence to back up eidetic memories. It was more so common belief and spread of word that made people believe in the “science” of photographic memory. People like chess players and the occasional genius that can remember a significant amount of numbers or words on a page.
Eidetic memories are questioned constantly for their accuracy. Scientists and psychologists work to disprove the idea that photographic memories exist through experiments that test their memory. For example, Alan Searleman from St. Lawrence University in New York conducted a study where he flashed a picture on a screen and asked those that claim to have eidetic memories to describe the image in detail. The subjects could, but not without error. This produced the question that works to contradict the idea of photographic memories which is: if a person had a photographic memory, meaning they could recall an image exactly as it appeared, how could there be room for error?
So, the skeptics produced another explanation for these types of learners, they simply have incredible memories. There is no sense in going above and beyond by referencing these people as “editikers” when in fact they cannot recall a picture perfectly and for an extended amount of time. Instead, these people can recall information through mnemonics and patterns.
That being said, there is one sole person in history that has ever been recorded to have a photographic memory and her name is Elizabeth Stromeyer. Her husband Charles, who attended Harvard University, tested Elizabeth, in a study to see if she really had an eidetic memory such as she had claimed. He showed her one eye a series of dots and asked her to remember it and did the same with the other eye. Elizabeth was then asked to mold the two dot formations to make an image. According to Charles, she had done it, and passed his test. However, the scientific community now questions whether she had really passed. Although he published his results in a magazine, his work became extremely criticized once it came out that he was marrying Elizabeth. To create further suspicion, she was never tested again and has been the only person documented to have an “eidetic memory” whether that is true or not.