Difference between Eidetic and Photographic Memory

Updated on October 27, 2015

Eidetic memory and photographic memory refer to the same type of memory. Both terms describe a phenomenon in which the individual is capable of recollecting a past event in great detail, even after significant time has passed since the event took place. The word “eidetic” comes from the Greek word “eidos” which means “seen” and the word “photographic” is rooted in the Greek words “photos”- “light” and  “graphé” -“a drawing with lines.” Both terms refer to the ability to grasp and represent visual information, but the phenomenon of recollecting the events which eidetic (photographic) memory describes includes also sounds, smells and objects.


Eidetic Memory
A picture from a popular “Brain Imaging Test” targeting visual memory

Eidetic (photographic) memory is the ability of the individual to recollect images, sounds and objects in great detail after only a brief exposure to them. Some scientists do not believe such ability as eidetic (photographic) memory exists. However, the ability to accurately recollect events is often observed among young children. Eidetic (photographic) memory is found unrelated to the overall intelligence level of the individual possessing such type of memory.

Eidetic Memory vs Photographic Memory

There is no difference between eidetic and photographic memory.