August 18, 2005


Everyone knows what it is like to close one's eyes and call up a visual image using the "mind's eye." For most people this image is usually fleeting and undetailed, but for those who possess an ability for eidetic imagery, this image is like a tangible picture that can be manipulated and seen in great detail.

Previously on my blog, I was accused of fabricating an entire European Vacation by a friend because I 'could'. If you read the post, part of it deals with that scenario and my thoughts at the time. The idea that I could envision an entire vacation and never actually leave my house is actually quite interesting to me. After some time had passed, I realized that she was right. I could fabricate it (I didn't, but that doesn't mean I couldn't do so). If you break it down into individual pieces or 'memories', there is a term for this ability, and the person who has it. It's called eidetic.

A person who has this trait or ability is called an eidetiker or 'one having the ability of eidetic imagery'. I don't profess to have a photographic memory (eidetic memory and photographic memory are different) or even to be as talented (gifted?) as some noted test subjects. I have an incredibly vivid imagination however and can cite detail upon detail in a scene even though it may never have occurred in reality. This is defined as structural eidetic as it is more spontaneous and not necessarily dependent on a previous experience of an actual stimulus and is seen inside the mind in the literal sense of the word. In short, a person who posesses eidetic imagery is able to "see" and describe an image in great detail after that image has been removed from their sight, and can perform this feat for a fairly extensive period of time.

Visual imagery is different from visual perception because visual perception requires the object to be actually present and visual imagery does not. For example, when one says, "I see a rock," and there is in fact a rock in sight, then that is a visual perception. If there were not a rock in sight, that would be a visual image.

For an excellent description of the characteristics of Eidetic Imagery, (note: some of my text is from this site) click here.


At 6:35 AM, Blogger Jenn said...

Wow! I really do learn something new everyday!

At 8:48 AM, Blogger Maggi-nifica said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8:49 AM, Blogger Maggi-nifica said...

that picture is making me think of an opthamologist visit to Dr. Mengela (sp?)
Very Creepy and my corneas are all itchy from thinking about it - the more I think about it... in fact i can see it now... how eidetic of me

At 10:29 AM, Blogger midwest_hick said...

I can imagination has a tendency to run wild at times.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Natalia said...

As a writer, my imagination goes all over the place...I just follow, with a pen and pad :)


At 1:58 PM, Blogger Lara said...

I might be one. I might not. I got so involved in trying to see what I was seeing in my head that I lost track of the words you wrote.

Ever notice how it's harder to see with your eyes open?

At 1:58 PM, Blogger sdk said...

In the books Conversations with God in the third book, there's a whole section on this. It's really cool...I was just reading it last night.

I believe in it completely.

(applications...hmmm. Lemme come up with something for you....LOL, get your Sharpie ready!)


At 1:35 AM, Blogger drunkbh said...

Interesting....I always thought that I was just a good liar.

At 2:55 AM, Blogger Frank said...

Hell... if you believe the lie, is it not your own personal truth? What was the question?


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