How do you get a photographic memory?


Quick Answer

A photographic memory — as in, the ability to memorize many details precisely — can be developed with the "memory palace" technique, which involves visualizing images or pieces of information as occupying specific locations within an imagined building or place. Recalling information from this mental construct is then a simple matter of "walking" around it.

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Full Answer

The "memory palace" technique, which can be developed in four steps, requires practice for mastery.

Step 1: Select a suitable "memory palace"

Choose a building with a familiar layout. It does not have to be a palace in the literal sense; often a childhood home is best for beginners.

Step 2: Turn information into images

The mind is better at remembering unusual or bizarre images, so associate each piece of information with something that leaves an impression. For example, burgers on a shopping list might be represented by a burning cow, while burger buns could be represented by enormous buttocks.

Step 3: Place the images in the palace

Mentally walk through the imagined building and place each image somewhere specific, such as immediately after the front door and at the top of the stairs.

Step 4: Take a recall tour

When it comes to retrieving the encoded information, mentally walk through the imagined building again, allowing each image to serve as a reminder for each associated piece of information.

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