Visual memory

Jump to: navigation, search

Visual memory is a part of memory preserving some characteristics of our senses pertaining to visual experience. We are able to place in memory information that resembles objects, places, animals or people in a sort of a mental image. Some authors refer to this experience as an “our mind's eye” through which we can retrieve from our memory a mental image of the original object, place, animal or person.

The first scientist to give serious consideration to visual imagery was Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911) in the field of individual differences. In the research Galton asked his subjects to describe and rate their visual images on vividness. He was able to demonstrate a wide range of clarity, ranging from vivid mental images to none among his test subjects (Galton, 1883).

Since this way of judging mental image has very little scientific objectivity, psychologists devised more objective ways of evaluating mental images, based on how much information can be retrieved from them. Overall, there are not conclusive data that would support any benefits from visual mnemonics (Baddeley, 1976).

Eidetic imagery

Visual Memory refers to the capability of the brain to retain imagery visually. This form of memory is activated by things the human sees or even hears. Seeing things visually is an intricate part of retaining information because the brain records information and data better when it is seen visually.

Spatial memory

Spatial memory can be considered a subcategory of visual memory because it relies on a cognitive map.


  • Gleitman, H.(1991)Psychology, 7, 275-278.

External links

  • How Human Memory Works - Article explaining how human memory works with examples and illustrations.
  • Neural Basis of Spatial Memory is a fascinating website focusing on the physiological aspect of spatial memory.
  • Learning Disabilities Support Offers homeschooling parents, educators and school psychologists answers to frequently asked educational topics that will benefit all students, learning disabled to gifted
  • Achieve Publications Offers solutions for children and adults with learning disabilities or dysylexia

See Also


he:זיכרון חזותי