This game test your memory, and, ultimately, your sanity. The object of the
game is to memorize sequence of lights. On that note, does anyone
remember those Simon commercials in the '80s? How could you forget! :). Use your mouse to click start and click the color bars.
What is the basis behind a photographic memory?
Scientists who study memory phenomena generally believe that eidetic
memory (more popularly known as "photographic memory") does not exist.
Early experiments on eidetic memory were intriguing, but could not be
People do show extraordinary memory performance in certain
circumstances. For example, expert chess players can typically play
blindfolded chess against several opponents at the same time, easily
memorizing many chessboard configurations. Others use special tricks
to memorize long lists of randomly selected numbers.
Impressive as these feats are, scientists attribute them to
specialized ways of thinking about the information, not to any kind of
enhanced visual memory. One interesting experiment that makes this
point was performed by a cognitive psychologist named DeGroot.
Expert chess players were shown a chess board with pieces on it for a
brief period, such as 15 seconds, and then asked to reconstruct what
they had seen on a new chess board. That is, they were asked to place
chess pieces in the same positions as they had appeared on the board
they'd been shown. The expert players were very good at this, much
better than novice players. One hypothesis was that the experts had
developed an enhanced ability to memorize visual information.
In the next experiment, the expert chess players were asked to do the
very same thing; butt this time, they were shown boards whose pieces
were arranged in ways that would never actually occur in a game of
chess. Not only did their ability to remember the positions go down,
but it went down all the way to the level of the novice players. We
can conclude that the original, enhanced performance at remembering
chess positions came from the experts' ability to mentally organize
the information they had observed, not from any ability to
"photograph" the visual scene.
Historically, one of the most controversial forms of mental imagery is the
so-called eidetic image. An eidetic image is one that, for the subject,
reputedly bears remarkable stimulus-like properties. The subject claims to
LITERALLY SEE, in exceptional detail learning ability, an image of some recently-seen object.
Although the image is "mental" it appears to be in physical space. Although
eidetic images share features with memory images and projected images, they are
distinct in that they can, according to the reports of subjects, be
INSPECTED FOR NEW DETAIL IN THE MANNER OF A PHYSICALLY-PRESENT STIMULUS OBJECT.
The investigation of eidetic images poses special problems for psychology. The
principal problem is how to characterize the subjective reports of eidetic
imagery. Both the reliability of subjective reports and the precise nature of
the supposed "inspection" of the images present problems, particularly if
psychology is understood to be a science with quantifiable parameters. These
problems have led many physcologists to question the existence, in the strict
sense required by science, of eidetic images. Descriptivist and strict
behaviorists claim there is no way to differentiate performances consistent with
so-called eidetic images from performances consistent with extraordinary
descriptive memory. According to some, then, eidetic images are just memory
Eidetic images are distinct from after-images. Typically, after-images are an
involuntary reaction brought about as a result of over stimulation of the
retina. A flash of light, intent staring at a bright color patch, and similar
events overload the retinal tissues, causing them to send signals to the brain
after the source of the stimulation is removed. After- images often appear to be
floating space before the eyes or to be on nearby surfaces. They do not appear
to be in a fixed in a physical location. An after-image will appear to move when
the eyes focus on a different location.
Eidetic images, on the other hand, can be triggered by what appears to be simple
visual inspection of a physical object. No overloading of the retinal tissues
appears to occur, since the visual study of the object usually lasts several
minutes and eye movements are continuous during the process. When the object is
removed, a person capable of forming an eidetic image will retain a detailed
memory image that (according to the subject) appears to be relatively stable in
physical space. Often, it appears to be in the same physical space independent
of eye movements. If, for example, a figure or painting is shown on a wall or
desk top and then removed, the eidetic subject will point to the appropriate
surface area location when describing the details of the eidetic image "seen" in
the vacated space. (See Stromeyer and Psotka, 1970, p. 346 and A. Richardson,
1969, pp. 29-44 for more on the distinction between eidetic images and
Eidetic imagery is generally reputed to exist in a significant percentage of
children between the ages of seven and fourteen. Eidetic imagery, particularly
in children, has been studied at least since 1819 (Purkinje), and several other
important studies were made near the turn of the century. The topic fell out of
favor with the advent of behaviorism. The few contemporary studies made have
tended to confirm (via subjective reports of children) the findings of older,
traditional psychology. Haber and Haber (1964) found that 8% of children between
the ages of 7 and 12 appeared to have eidetic imagery (Haber and Haber in A.
Richardson, 1969, p. 37). Eidetic imagery tends to disappear with age and is
very rare among adults.
Eidetic images are usually generated spontaneously in children and by choice in
adults. Maintaining an eidetic image, in either case, requires both interest and
effort on the part of the subject. Despite this, eidetic images appear to fade
in most cases at rates that are not fully controllable by the subject. It is
therefore a judgment call as to whether to list eidetic images as under
conscious control or not. (In my work, I have indicated that they are not,
because the greatest incidence of eidetic imagery is among children.)
You need to make sure that you have shockwave installed on your computer. This
plug-in is free and easy to install.