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An attempt to assess eidetic imagery objectively


The incidence of persons possessing eidetic imagery was determined for normal adults, normal school children, familial retardates, and brain-injured retardates (total N = 270). Three methods of evaluation were used for all Ss: (1) the “standard” method, in which the S describes a complex scene after viewing it for 30 sec, (2) a task which requires superimposing the eidetic image of one stimulus upon a second stimulus, thus producing an unexpected third pattern; and (3) the Stromeyer and Psotka task of binocularly fusing two Julesz patterns, one of which is an eidetic image. The latter two methods were considered to be more objective than the first and less likely to incorrectly classify a person as an eidetiker. According to the first method, eidetikers were found only among the familial retardates (2 of 19 Ss); by the other two methods, none of the Ss possessed eidetic ability.


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This research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation’s University Science Development Program, Grant GU-1598. We are grateful to the Austin Independent School District and to the principal and staff of Summitt Elementary School for allowing us to test the elementary school children, and to the Austin State School for their cooperation and assistance in testing the retarded children.

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Gummerman, K., Gray, C.R. & Wilson, J.M. An attempt to assess eidetic imagery objectively. Psychon Sci 28, 115–118 (1972).

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  • Elementary School Child
  • Retarded Child
  • Standard Task
  • Memory Image
  • Objective Task