Kh.khatanbaatar: the Human Memory Operates Predominantly Through Images

Trans. by B.DULGUUN

Director of the Mongolian Intellectual Academy (MIA) Kh.Khatanbaatar is well known to the public as an International Master of Memory.

Last Sunday, the Mongolian memory team seized 19 out of 30 available medal sets from the 35th Memory World Championships in Taiwan.

Kh.Khatanbaatar gave an interview about the impact of toys on children's upbringing and how people can improve their memory.

Can you begin the interview by explaining photographic memory?

Photographic memory is the ability to recall something a person has seen for a short period in high precision and detail. If we compare it to a camera, people with photographic memory take a snapshot of what they see immediately with their eyes and are able to recall it without losing information.

I often hear about people with this kind of memory and I had an opportunity to personally meet a person with photographic memory.

I've researched about the World's Fastest Reader, Howard Stephen Berg, who was recognized in the 1990 Guinness World Record Book for his ability to e than 25,000 words per minute and write more than 100 words per minute. I've also researched about Daniel Tammet, who reads foreign language dictionaries like a book and speaks over 20 languages, and Kim Peek, who memorized 12,000 books and was the inspiration for the film "Rain Man".

Some countries consider people with photographic memory to have been born with savant syndrome, where people demonstrate profound and prodigious capacities in music, mathematics or other areas. This syndrome occurs mostly in people with autism.

Besides these people who are born with this ability, there are people who acquire exceptional memory skills through immense amount of hard work and effort. Mongolian athletes who are participating in international memory competitions are considered to have photographic memory. They demonstrate their nurtured memory skill by memorizing a full deck of cards in less than 20 seconds and memorize 30 digits in one second. This ability is the result of consistent training.

You were able to make countless achievements by developing your memory skills. Are you able to recall things as if looking at a photograph?

I'm a young person who has studied brain structure, its function and memory for many years. I tested theories on myself and my students, and I am currently observing the results. Our team has maintained its spot in the top three teams of the world in recent years in mental sports. This...

To continue reading

Request your trial