What is a Vivid Picture ? Symbolic Vs Eidetic Memory…

We’re forever told in our (NLP) community to make vivid pictures of this, that and another. While some (10) years ago I doubted I could make pictures at all, I’m now convinced I can make pictures like the ones I’m asked to, as for example I can demonstrate it through my memory palace and other visualisation exercises I can do.

Now, reflecting on the photo reading thread (which I don’t want to hijack more than I already have, sorry for that), and other personal experiences, I’m starting to wonder what it is we’re calling "pictures"?

Initially, I would have said that these pictures were demonstrations of eidetic memory (pictures or sounds) capabilities, but after reading a few articles towards the fact the eidetic memory is likely impossible (many experiences support this, and none support the contrary, seems people who claim eidetic memory are in fact using mnemonics, consciously or not), I started to introspect my own visual memories.

In particular, my memory palace is a real place somewhere near where I live. Again, it works really well, and I’ll never thank DB enough for bringing it to me in that trick of mind book. It works well because I make "vivid" pictures of the loci in it and vivid pictures of whatever I stick on them. I know if I don’t do that effort to make vivid stuff, it doesn’t work so well.

So I claim I’m as capable as most of us at making vivid pictures.

Now… sorry it’s taking me a long time to get to my point….

… but what is there exactly in my memory palace (or any other memory of something real)? If I try real hard at "visualising " one loci for example (an "old wooden garden gate" is one), I initially get a mostly vague/poor "vision" that gets richer as I add elements to it (the colour, the contour shape, the texture, any internal motifs, what’s behind it/around it, ….).

What this is in fact telling me is that this "visual memory" is in fact built in my mind as I go through all the characteristics I now about that gate. This means that the gate is in fact stored in symbolic form, and not in eidetic form, and that it’s symbolic information linked to it that is enabling the construction of the "visual picture" (which therefore isn’t a "visual memory").

What’s your impressions / experience on this?

What is a Vivid Picture ? Symbolic Vs Eidetic Memory…

Speak Your Mind