Eideticism (from ancient Greek εἶδος - image, appearance) is the ability of a person’s memory to memorize images, sounds or objects with high accuracy, which is not acquired through mnemotechnics. According to another definition, eidetic is the ability to arbitrarily induce and for a long time to keep exceptionally vivid images of presentation that are not inferior or superior in their sensory characteristics to visual images.
Sometimes this ability to memorize is called photographic memory. But in scientific research and, in particular, in psychology the terms “eideism”, “eidetic memory” are more often used. Perhaps, many will note that the concept of “eideism” is unusual and less well-known than its synonym for “photographic memory”. But this is only due to the widespread use in the non-core literature of the latter. L. Squire, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, is confident that there is no photographic memory of exactly how the ability to remember information “after having photographed” it. As a result of his research, it was proved that no one who took part in the experiment, and for this purpose, specially selected people with an extraordinary memory, can not perfectly reproduce the memorized text backwards. “And according to the photo it is easy to do,” the professor summarizes. Therefore, the use of the definition of “photographic” in psychology is wrong.
Scientists say that most people are born with eidetic memory abilities. This is especially evident in early childhood (from 2 to 10% of children have a developed photographic memory). Further, with the development of the brain and those parts of it that are responsible for verbal skills, this ability is lost.
The tendency to eidetic memory depends on a number of factors, such as genetics, characteristics of brain development, and strong experiences obtained. Modern scientists, primarily cognitive M. Minsky, are skeptical in their attitude towards the eidetic abilities of the human brain. And that's why. In the introduction to the article, we gave examples of people with eidetic memory who, being gifted in terms of memorization, have deviations in other respects (physiology, abilities for social adaptation, etc.). Physiological eideism, as mentioned above, manifests itself at an early age, and with maturity as a constitutional trait, it persists only in a small number of people. Often this is due to professional activity - eidetism is more common among artists and musicians. But the average person, with innate eidetic memory, cannot achieve the same phenomenal level as some savants. The accompanying myth has been debunked. Thus, the chess player and psychologist A. de Groote, who became interested in eideism as a phenomenon, argued that many could develop abilities. As an example, he cited chess grandmasters who can memorize many combinations and scenarios of developments during the game. Somewhat later, his experience was criticized, because such an experiment does not reflect the essence of the whole phenomenon. Moreover, it demonstrates complete inconsistency when it comes to memorizing and reproducing other types of information. In part, this explains the dislike of many methods of developing memory for the use of the concept of “eidetic,” although it is given as a synonym.
How to develop eidetic memory?
There are many methods for the development of eidetic memory in the network, some of which even offer hypnosis. Some exercises from yoga are also designed to promote the improvement of eidetic skills. The Moscow school of eidetics, the School of fast reading OA Andreeva offer their training of memory and thinking based on the development of eidetic perception.
Below we have collected recommendations for the independent development of photographic (as a synonym for eidetic) memory from the popular projects of WikiHow and Menprovement. Getting started, remember that eideticism in one form or another is inherent in every person, especially in childhood and adolescence, but in the most striking manifestations is quite rare. Also, following these techniques, you will not get a phenomenal memory, but improve your natural ability to memorize.
Block 1. Changes in lifestyle
- Learn to cope with stress. It has been proven that anxiety, depression, and anger increase cortisol levels in the brain. This can cause damage to the cells of the hippocampus - the area of the brain responsible for storing data in memory.
- Exercise, keep your brain in good shape: do not postpone the newspaper with a crossword puzzle, do not refuse the party in board games, learn a foreign language.
- Exercise, take time physical activity. Thus, the brain will receive the necessary oxygen and beneficial nutrients.
- Avoid bad habits. This is especially true for alcohol abuse and smoking.
Block 2. Memorization strategy
- Eliminate distraction. Studying the material you want to remember, try to organize the process so that you do not distract.
- Use visual associations. Remembering the information, associate it with images that are easy to remember. One of the options - the "palaces of reason" of modern Sherlock Holmes, created by the Air Force.
- Repeat. This means not memorization, namely, repetition, which is appropriate to remember a small amount of information at once, for example, a name. The technique is as follows: after your interlocutor pronounces a name, repeat it to yourself in different forms: Alexander - Sasha - Shurik - Sanya. The second option is to immediately use this name in speech, directly in reference to a person.
- Look for more detailed useful information on memory development in the training on our website.
What is eidetic?
(According to LS Vygotsky
Psychologists call the edetic of the new direction the study of subjective visual images that are observed in children and adolescents in a certain phase of their development, and also persist sometimes, mostly as an exception, and in adults. The very fact of the presence of such subjective visual images was described in 1907 by Urbanchich. However, he failed to discern the broad theoretical implications of this fact, and could not even fully and thoroughly study it.
This has been done by the Erich Iensch school in Marburg, mainly in the last twelve years. Here this psychological doctrine developed and took shape, which has now spread widely throughout the world, spawning everywhere studies of eidetic phenomena, verification of factual data of Iensch and his school, discussion of his theoretical constructions and explanations. Eidetics (from the Greek word eidon - see or eidos - an image, a picture, an idea) are called psychologists of the new direction of people who have the ability to evoke these visual images. The essence of this basic eidetic phenomenon or eideism is that the person who discovers it has the ability to see, in the literal sense of the word, on an empty screen a picture or object that was missing before his eyes. Until now, psychology has known two basic forms of memory images. First of all, these are so-called consecutive images, well studied in psychophysiology and accessible to the observation of everyone, since they represent a universal phenomenon that can be caused in everyone. If we fix with an eye any colored figure, such as a cross, square, etc., and then look at a white or gray surface, we will see the same figure only in an additional color. So, if the main figure was red, then its sequential image will be green, etc.
On the other hand, psychologists knew well the images of representation, which are the basis of our memory in the usual and most popular sense of the word. When we say that we represent this or that object in our mind, we do not mean that the image of this object rises before our eyes, in the literal sense of the word, so that we can point our finger with where it is, what its outlines are. etc. This is a trace of irritation, which is more vividly, now more vaguely renewed in our brain, but which are significantly different from the sequential images.
Between these two forms of memory images, thanks to new discoveries, eidetic images or visual images are moving. They occupy, as it were, the middle place between successive images and between images of representations, approaching in individuals sometimes to one or the other. The discovery of this intermediate form of memory constitutes the actual basis of the new teaching.
A ten-year-old child is shown a completely unknown picture before him for 9 seconds. Then the picture is removed, a smooth gray screen remains in front of the child, but the child continues to see the missing picture and see it as each of us sees a consistent image after the colored figure is removed from our field of vision. The child sees the missing picture in detail, describes it, reads the text in the picture, etc.
Without showing the child a picture in the gap, he is asked in half an hour if he can see it again on the screen. The answer is yes. Again, similar questions are asked, to which the child gives the correct answers. After another hour, the child answers 25% of all questions:
“I don’t see it anymore”, or: “it has become unclear,” or even: “it has already disappeared.” In order to make sure that we are talking about eidetic memorization of an eidetic boy, that is, about the actual vision of the image , it is only necessary to repeat the same experiment with a child who does not possess eidetic ability (the time of presentation of the picture, of course, must be as short as in this case).
This, in the literal sense of the word, the vision of a missing object or picture forms the basis of eideism. Initially, when this phenomenon was discovered, psychologists reacted to it more as a curiosity or as a rare exception, but not as a general rule. Meanwhile, studies by the Marburg School lead the authors to the conclusion that eidetism is a completely natural and necessary phase in the development of memory, a phase through which all children certainly pass. Below we present the statistical results of eidetic studies showing how large the percentage of clearly expressed eidetics among children of different ages. True, among various authors, in different localities, in different children's groups, this percentage is not constant.
On the one hand, this should be attributed to the novelty of the research itself, differences in methods and estimates. It must be said that this phenomenon does not occur in all children in exactly the same form. He discovers various stages of his development and various degrees of brightness. E. Iensch distinguishes 5 such steps in the development of eideism. On the one hand, it turns out that the percentage of eidetic children varies depending on whether the number of these cases includes children with a less pronounced degree of this phenomenon. On the other hand, as we will see below, this phenomenon itself reveals a direct dependence on internal secretion, which not only varies depending on the constitution, on individuality, on age, race, but also reveals variation depending on the locality, on geographical conditions.
Cros found that the number of clearly defined eidetics for children in Marburg is 40%. He is inclined to accept this figure as a more or less correct indicator for the whole of Central Europe.
As we will see below, many critics, like Kizov et al., Are still not inclined to consider this phenomenon universal and look at it as an exception rather than as a rule. However, if we include in the number of eidetic children and children with the so-called latent or hidden eidetic form, then the percentage of eidetic children at various ages is indeed almost equal to 100.
By latent eideism Iensh implies the presence of this very form of memory, but only in a hidden, undetectable form. The presence of such latent eideism is established indirectly. Since eidetic images occupy the middle position between successive images and representations, they often influence these other forms of memory. Thus, latent eideism is found in the fact that children with this form show deviations from consecutive images from the norm, in particular, from Emmert's law.
Emmert's law states that successive images increase in their linear dimensions in a strictly geometric proportion as the screen moves away from the eyes. So, if you remove the screen twice as far as it was before, the sequential image will increase exactly twice. Children with latent eideticism find that they have consistent images that do not obey Emmert's law. If we take into account that eidetic images generally shy away from this law, it becomes clear why this symptom (deviation from Emmert's law) is taken by researchers as a symptom of latent eideticism.
Gothale showed that if a child fixes a square, his consistent image obeys Emmert's law, if he does not fix the same square, the image obeys another pattern, the pattern established for eidetic images.
Thus, discovering latent eideism, these researchers are able to speak of eideism, as a universal step in the development of memory. The proximity of an eidetic image to a representation or a successive image appears to be different in children of different constitutions.
A bit of history
The term “Eydetik” was introduced by Serbian scientist Victor Urbanchich back in 1907. Further development of this technique was necessary only in the twenties of the twentieth century thanks to the research of the German scientist Eric Jensch.
As for Russian practice, quite popular psychologists dealt with this issue:
However, due to some controversy, all the research was frozen until almost the twenty-first century. Interest returned again only in the nineties of the twentieth century. It was at this time that the first eidetic school was opened. Exercises were designed for all categories of people: from the smallest to adults. It was founded in 1989 by Igor Matyugin. Here people were taught:
- competent work with information
- memorizing a large amount of text using a specially developed technique,
- memory development
- development of figurative thinking
- development of imagination.
Today we offer to talk about the most effective tools of the Eidetic technique. It is advisable to perform exercises not only with teachers, but also with parents during daily games. Please note that based on the presented examples you can come up with a lot of interesting games.
The first method is visual drawing. Suppose you are preparing for school and learning numbers. This is given to the child quite hard, try turning them into some object. For example: six - the castle, eight - glasses and so on. Do the same with the letters.
The second method is mental drawing. It is suitable for memorizing poems. Suppose you are learning a passage from the poem “Ruslan and Lyudmila”. Before learning it, try to immerse the child in this atmosphere. Let him smell the sea, present the cries of gulls, and on the shore - a large perennial oak and so on.
The third method is memorization of accurate information. This technique includes:
- mnemonics (memorization of complex information by changing the form, example: "every hunter wants to know where the pheasant sits",
- chain method (building an associative series, so the information will be reproduced exactly and consistently),
- acroverbal technique (transformation of information into poetic or song form).
Such exercises will help the child to remember a large amount of information without boring cramming, and during an exciting game.
Exercises for children
The following sections provide examples of eidetic exercises for children. Please note that you need to start to engage in at least three years of age. It is not necessary to force a child through force, if he has a good mood, then his studies will resemble not hard labor, but an exciting game. Based on the above exercises, you can invent your own games.
The kid should show interest in everything new, offer such classes to him more often. Just do not force, a good mood - the key to excellent results.
Here are two eidetic exercises for preschool children that require some parent training.
- "We compose our fairy tales". Parents will need several cards (absolutely any number from three to ten) with the image of different objects. Give them to the child and ask them to come up with such a fairy tale so that absolutely all things from the pictures can be found there. For older children, you can complicate the task: give a specific topic. Например: Новый год, отдых на море, поездка к бабушке в деревню и так далее.
- "Воришка". Для этой игры также нужны карточки, лучше начать с трех-четырех и постепенно увеличивать их количество. Разложите изображения на столе и внимательно рассмотрите их с ребенком. Попросите кроху отвернуться и заберите одну картинку со стола. Then he will have to work a little and understand what kind of pattern there is after all.
The development of visual perception
Here are some eidetic exercises for schoolchildren on the development of visual perception. They can and should be performed with children of an earlier age.
- "Researchers". Try to examine in detail with the child any subject. Surely you know from films and cartoons how researchers work. They speak the characteristics of the object being studied as much as possible. Take a plate or cup and study it. Call: shape, color, inscriptions, drawings, damage, and so on.
- "Detectives". Even adults love to play this game. Guess any object that is in your field of vision. The task of the child is to guess what you made by asking leading questions. To make it clearer, first swap places with baby. Let him guess, and you try to find out what it is.
The first interesting game is called "Musical Instruments". Take a deep box and children's musical instruments. First, play with them with the child, then hide it in the box. Without getting the item out of the box, make a sound with any instrument. The child must guess what kind of subject.
The second game is called "Teremok". Again you need a big box and toys or cards with different animals. Hide all the things in the box and ask the baby: "who lives in a cottage house"? In this case, you need to give a hint: "Mu-mu", "Meow-meow", "Kwa-Kwa" and so on.
We distinguish odors
You will need small boxes and fragrant products. For example: spices, coffee. Put them in boxes and ask the child to tell him what lies there. You can complicate the task: make two boxes with the same smell among all the boxes and ask the child to find a pair.
Another task - to tell what smells in the house. If the child will do it hard, then do not scold, but help. Tell him that the garlic smells harsh and hot, and the lemon has an invigorating and refreshing aroma and so on.
In addition to all that was said earlier, there are eidetic exercises for students. They are also aimed at the development of memory through figurative thinking. And now a few exercises for the development of memory in children of preschool age, because at this stage it is necessary to begin to improve the thinking processes.
- "Memorizing words". Offer a few words to the baby in a certain order and offer to make a small story. Note that the words must be in the same sequence that you asked. Unleash the flight of fantasy, this story can be a fantastic character.
- "Dancing". Another interesting exercise. All children, without exception, love dancing and movement. They will be happy to learn new movements and bundles with you. For the child to better remember the sequence, bring associations.
Imaginative, remember and develop imagination
In general, the title itself is the basis of the methodology for preschool children and schoolchildren in order to train their basic speech skills, develop memory and imagination.
This technique allows you to prepare future first graders for difficult school overloads, when you have to master gigabytes of information, while applying a creative twist, and helps students to cope with the curriculum.
For general development.
Eidetic, who likes more - eideism, carries in its meaning the main Greek word “eidos” - “image”. It appeared at the very beginning of the twenties of the last century, thanks to Serbian scholar Victor Urbanchich. It is believed that it was he who discovered the phenomenon of special memory through visual images, allowing after a while to reproduce what he saw to the smallest detail.
After Urbanchich, Germans became interested in human eidetic abilities - Eric Jensch and his Marburg School of Psychology. Soviet psychologists did not ignore eidetic, but since 1936 in the USSR, for various reasons, this research was banned. The interest returned to the Soviet 90s when the first eidetic school opened.
Scientific eideticism is known to the average man as a photographic memory. Scientists believe that it is laid in children by nature and is well developed by itself. Children remember very well through images and in most cases represent an object that has already “left” their field of vision. This is the basis of eidetic exercises, which allow the use of a figurative memory for memorizing dry information.
The tendency to eideism is determined by a number of factors. It can be both genetics and special brain development. The type of human activity influences the ability to memorize images, and among the creators of eidetica much more than among techies.
Researches of scientists have confirmed that everyone has the makings of eideism, only in the process of development they are muffled. Unfortunately, as psychologists say, year after year we lose this “childish” ability, and as adults mature, people who can reproduce in detail the visual, sound or tactile images become much smaller.
Why lose such a gift of nature, when you can develop it and direct it to good?
Photo Memory Toolkit
As we have already understood, it is possible to begin to train the figurative memory from the kindergarten in order to “photograph” clever physical and mathematical formulas and texts in foreign languages at school age. There are several ways to do this.
This method is good for memorizing numeric and alphabetic designations - just for higher mathematics, which begins with elementary school! Its zest is that details are added to the contours of any symbol, and in one motion of the cerebral gyrus with a small amount of fantasy a dry sign turns into an object.
Here, try what “horns and hooves” you get from numbers from 0 to 9.
- My zero is a mirror.
- From the unit out the tree.
- Out of two - everyone's favorite swan.
- Troika turns into a snake.
- Four became a sailboat.
- Five - sea horse.
- From the six I made a funny whale.
- Seven is a boomerang.
- Eight is like a snowman.
- And nine is a balloon.
And you can imagine the numbers as in the picture.
Drawing such enchanted numbers and letters, the children then see them in the surrounding objects.
It serves to memorize the volumes of Pushkin and others like him to write multi-page poems that later children learn at school age. This method consists in the preliminary immersion into the atmosphere of the verse. Take, for example, the same Alexander Sergeyevich and imagine an oak tree, a mermaid walking on a cat's jewelry, heroes and create an associative array.
Memorization of accurate information
This method of developing eidetic memory is divided into techniques.
Such a special technique that makes it possible to memorize the unmemorable through changing the type of information. A vivid example of mnemonics is the opportunity to learn the colors of the rainbow through the well-known saying: “Every Hunter Wants to Know Where the Pheasant Sits.”
Or you can still remember from our school bench about Ivan, who gave birth to a girl, who ordered to haul diaper - it was a hint for those who were not given the names and order of cases.
This is the construction of associative chains, when from one image comes up another, helping to reproduce the correct sequence.
Here, for example, parents task: remember 12 words
For this you have to make your own video. So I cut the cucumber, making it a boat into which the mosquito falls. The mosquito hides in an envelope that is carried away by the wind, curling up like a caterpillar on the way. She lands in a book, there are many words “rice” on the pages. Figures spill out of the book like a fountain and get into a passing car, smashing its headlights. One fragment from the headlamp is very similar to a bear. Here is my movie:
Such techniques that transform the material into interesting poems and songs that make it easier to remember. Acroverbal transformations are especially popular when children at a school age study foreign languages when foreign words are not given for memorizing. For other cases, there are also such tricks good. Well, for example, with children of preschool age, we study the days of the week:
or here is the encrypted:
For school age, too, there are memorials. Here is for geography:
and for the English example:
From theory to practice
What it looks like in theory and what eidetic is, we now know. In addition to the previously mentioned exercises for the development of memory and thinking, here are some more for you to train. If you are involved in the process of developing figurative memory, you can take them as a basis by inventing something new. By the way, eidetic memory can be developed from 3-4 years of age.
We give a few cards, we memorize them and we compose fairy tales and fables, so that in a certain sequence the given objects meet.
Complicate ourselves by picking up a theme for fantasy in advance, for example, school, vacation, sports, and so on.
We are looking for what is missing
We lay out the cards with a picture up to remember, and then ask the child to turn away, and Skoda: remove one or two cards. They need to remember.
To do this, we take an interesting subject and begin to explore it, giving as much of its features as possible, starting with the shape, color, material, decor, damage, deficiencies, and others.
Make a subject that is in sight. With the help of leading questions, the child should bring himself to otgadku. Do not forget to change roles!
If there are different musical instruments in the house or tweeters-buzzers that make sounds, gather them in a heap, introduce the child to their sounds, so that he remembers what he is saying and start guessing.
In boxes, lay out all sorts of fragrant snacks - herbs, coffee, garlic, onions, fruits. Get acquainted with the sources of odors closer. Now hide everything, tie the child's eyes. We will play in the "smell".
So in simple games, you can train eidetic abilities. Try it, I'm sure that you and the children will like it!
And on the video, the boy Nightingale Leon. By his own admission, he loves to play around and to break everything) And he managed to remember as many as 50 cards! Do not believe? See for yourself! Eydetik in action.
Tasks with cards.
Compose your story
Give the child 5-7 pictures and ask them to compose a fairy tale (story) so that the depicted items can be found in it. Complicating the task can be the fact that the fairy tale should be on a specific topic, for example, New Year, summer, adventures at sea, etc.
What has disappeared
Lay out the cards on the table in front of the child, carefully review the pictures with him. Then ask the child to turn away, and in the meantime you remove one card from the table and change the location of the rest. When the child turns, he will find out which card has disappeared.
Games on the development of visual perception
Consider with the child any object, such as a cup. But you need to look like researchers, that is, pronouncing as many external characteristics as possible: color, shape, material, drawing, inscriptions, damage, and so on.
Guess some object that is in your field of vision with your child. Let the child try to guess by asking leading questions. To make the child understand the rules of the game better, you can switch roles with him: let him first guess the subject himself, and you will ask questions.
Hearing development games
What does that sound like
Show crumbs in turn items and musical instruments that can make sounds and hide them in a box. Then make a sound of one of the objects and ask the baby to name which object sounds like that.
Sounds around us
Sit comfortably, close your eyes and listen to all the sounds around you with your baby for 10-15 minutes.
Who lives in the house
Take the box - it will be a house. Put animals or cards with their images into it. Ask your baby to say who lives in the house. At the same time you need to make sounding animal sounds: meow, woof, mu-mu and so on.
Games that develop perceptions of smells
Guess the flavor
Spread on matchboxes smelling spices, herbs, coffee, products. Ask your baby to smell what is in the box. You can vary the task - make 2 boxes with the same content and give the task by smell to find boxes with the same filling, without opening them.
In addition, you can ask the child to describe the smell or, if the task is difficult, tell him yourself. For example, the smell of garlic is sharp and pungent, and the smell of lemon is fresh and invigorating.