Health, Sports & Psychology
  • Activity
  • 10 mins
  • Level 1: Introductory

Take the photographic memory test

Updated Monday 28th September 2009

Can you capture scenes just by looking at them? Find out with our photographic memory test.

Why do some historical events become fixed in everyone's mind? Discover the secret of flashbulb memory

You need the Flash Player (version 8 or higher) to view this - download Flash. http://www2.open.ac.uk/openlearn/surveys/eidetic/loader.swf

Some initial tests have suggested that quite a number of children, and perhaps adults too, have a special ability – something like a photographic memory, called “eidetic imagery”. This allows them to continue to ‘see’ an image, in detail, for a short while even after it is taken away.

Bang Goes the Theory invites you to take part in a short test, which will reveal for the first time just how many people have this talent.

There are only 10 questions, so do please try to do all of them, even if you think you are just guessing. You may not be aware of having the ability, so you might be doing better than you think! Initial tests suggest that talking disrupts the ability so try to do the test in a quiet place.

If you score highly, it might be a sign that you have a 'photographic memory' - in which case, you'll be asked if you'd like to take part in a more serious study being organised by the University of Iowa.

This test was devised by the University of Iowa Department of Psychology in association with Bang Goes the Theory and The Open University.

We've got lots more articles, games and videos about memory—why not take a look?

Help us make OpenLearn work for you: The OpenLearn team are conducting a survey to find out more about how people use our free learning content. If you've got a few minutes to spare, please tell us what you think.

You might also like...

Explore the rules of attraction - part of our free psychology course Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Polina Ryazantseva | Dreamstime.com
 

For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?

Other content you may like

Bang Goes The Theory 6: Episode 3 Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Bang Goes The Theory 6: Episode 3

The team look at the security of data, finding out how safe digital storage formats such as DVDs and memory sticks are

Article
The autistic spectrum: From theory to practice Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 2 icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

The autistic spectrum: From theory to practice

Most of us have a very vague and narrow concept of what autism is, based mainly on such stereotypes as Dustin Hoffman's character in the film Rain Man. In this free course, The autistic spectrum: From theory to practice, you will discover that there is a wide spectrum of disorders associated with autism, and an equally wide range of approaches to diagnosis and treatment.

Free course
20 hrs
Keep your mind on your driving; keep your hands on the wheel Creative commons image Icon dsearls under CC-BY-SA licence under Creative-Commons license article icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Keep your mind on your driving; keep your hands on the wheel

Could you be more prone to car accidents if you listen to football commentary on the radio while you are driving?

Article
What is obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)? Creative commons image Icon Ms. Tina under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 licence under Creative-Commons license article icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

What is obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)?

Find out more about obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), an anxiety related disorder in which people worry excessively about particular issues

Article
The Bisexuality Report Creative commons image Icon gem fountain via Flickr under Creative Comms license under Creative-Commons license audio icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

The Bisexuality Report

According to a new report written by Open University academics, bisexuals endure worse mental health problems and suffer from an equality gap.

Audio
5 mins
Turning face perception on its head Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The Open University video icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Turning face perception on its head

Are you pretty good at reading an expression? Can you recognise a face in a crowd? Watch the video of the 'Head Spin Trick'

Video
5 mins
Dialogue: Climate change denial Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Dreamstime article icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Dialogue: Climate change denial

Psychotherapist Paul Hogget and psychoanalyst Sally Weintrobe discuss climate change denial 

Article
Oliver Sacks: Creative commons image Icon Steve Jurvetson under CC-BY licence under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license article icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Oliver Sacks: "Don't skip the footnotes"

Matthew Wade - writing after Oliver Sacks had revealed his prognosis, but before his death - celebrated the life of the "stray Santa" who loved understanding the passions of others.

Article

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Making Faces

Open University cognitive psychologist Graham Pike describes how his interest in facial compositing has led to a collaboration resulting in a computer based tool, called Efit V. This tool might transform the process of identifying police suspects. It is being developed to allow law enforcement agencies to produce images of criminal suspects at very short notice at crime scenes revolutionising the process of identification. To find out more, follow the research links.

Video
5 mins