This is intended as a little exploration of how minds work.
Now, I have what I think to be an exceptionally bad memory. I have a terrible time remembering names and faces, etc.
The "minds eye" part: The story goes, that some people have photographic memories. Well, so do I, but there's no film.
I ask members - Can you close your eyes, think of something you have seen, and bring up a mental image? Do you have a "photograph in your head"? My understanding is that various people can do this, at least to some degree. I can not. I just have a dark screen.
I have a bit of one. It used to be good enough to be actually a bit useful. At university is was possible to read quickly through a text during the hours before and exam and then 're-read' it in my head during the exam for answers.
Unfortunately it wasn't exactly perfect. Sometimes I'd read part of a page in my mind, even the page number, but not the particular part I wanted. In desparation putting the page number down as a reference didn't get any marks but I had one prof find that amusing anyway.
Now it is rather fragmentary. It seems my "mind" such as it is filled up over the years. New things don't stick so well at all but I can remember details of work solutions back 30 years ago. (This is a reason for some serious concern I know ).
Now if I go to the big box for groceries and have lost my list (or forgot to make one) I can still "read" the white board if I looked at it before leaving. I can see it and know how long the list was and direct my minds eye down the list. It seems that different "looks" at it produce different results. Some parts just aren't there.
This is different from "remembering the list". If I've actually read the list conscieously (like written it down) I remember individual itmes. I don't see it. I just have a good idea of how many items were on it and then remember each item one at a time to get to that number (or some fraction of it). I think that is the same as anyone would do not useing "photographic memory".
Sometimes the recovery is a combination of remembering the list and reading it in my minds eye. The last 20% may have to be filled in with a cell phone call to get one of my kids to read the actual list.
However well or poorly all that works. I will not remember someones name 48.7 seconds after being told it.
As an additional note: I first visited my uncle in England when I was young 20's. We got lots of time to talk and I found out something interesting. He had learned the piano in about a week after first seeing one. He could sit listen to a few stumbled hums from me (I am baaad) and reproduce a piece of music on the spot. He composed in his head but still couldn't write music.
He also learns to converse to a passable level in a foreign language after a week or two in a country. He remembers what he hears.
I am very bad at that. I have to see something before I remember it.
My uncle on the other hand, has to read outloud if he wants to remember something. He has not much visual memory at all.