Visual Memory correlation with Go?

TL;DR
Does playing Go make you better at visual memory?
https://humanbenchmark.com has multiple tests, some of which measure memory.
One of the tests, in particular, measures “visual memory”; in the test, you must remember where an increasing number of white squares are located on an increasingly large board after being shown them for a period of time.

Detailed rules

You will be shown an NxN board of squares; N gets larger and larger as you get to higher and higher levels. Some of these squares will be blue, while others will be white. You should memorize the location of the white squares, and, within a few seconds, the white squares will “flip over”. You must click where the white squares were, and if you miss three times on one level, you lose a life. If you succeed in finding all the white squares, you will advance to the next level, which will have more squares and a larger grid.

You can find out your percentile by clicking the “Save Score” button, at which point you will be brought to the dashboard, and you can see it there.
I would like to find out how playing Go affects your visual memory score / abilities. For me, at least, playing Go helps to “condense” the shapes down into common Go structures, such as a bamboo joint, an empty triangle, and many other structures. I think that this helps me in the memory test.
I propose the following test: Using the number memory as a “control” (playing Go shouldn’t affect that result very much), comparing the number memory percentile score to that of the visual memory can show whether or not playing Go improves visual memory.
https://humanbenchmark.com/tests/memory
https://humanbenchmark.com/tests/number-memory
Results (I just pulled random numbers; feel free to comment your exact scores.)

Number Memory Percentile Results
• 1
• 2-3
• 4-6
• 7-10
• 11-14
• 15-20
• 21-28
• 29-40
• 40-50
• 51-60
• 61-72
• 73-80
• 81-86
• 87-90
• 91-93
• 94-95
• 96-97
• 98
• 99
• 100 (gg)

0 voters

Visual Memory Percentile Results
• 1
• 2-3
• 4-6
• 7-10
• 11-14
• 15-20
• 21-28
• 29-40
• 40-50
• 51-60
• 61-72
• 73-80
• 81-86
• 87-90
• 91-93
• 94-95
• 96-97
• 98
• 99
• 100 (gg)

0 voters

1 Like

I guess you do not count. Tracking the score on multiple parts of the board could be connected with number memory.

This doesn’t sound like “visual” memory. I’m not sure if this is the supposed way for doing the test.

To answer this question you need to know how the visual memory is before one started with go, compared with visual memory after they played go for a while.

Just because go players are good at X doesn’t mean go improves X. It could also mean X makes it more likely someone plays go.

3 Likes

Wow my memory sucks so much. That’s why I can’t remember many josekis.

1 Like

Indeed. As a child/teenager I was blessed with a photographic memory (years before I learned go). This was never tested, but it was pretty clear that it took me much less effort than my peers to learn stuff by heart in school. I suppose it also helped me to pick up go more easily and improve more quickly than average.

I don’t know how much of that photographic memory is retained 40 years later. I suppose it has decreased, but I didn’t not any test back then and I haven’t done this test now.

1 Like

Honinbo chimp:

4 Likes

I did the tests after all. Not great results.

I’m sure my photographic memory has faded over the years, but I also think that these tests measure something different. They seem more focused on testing the size and accuracy of your working memory (very short term).
But I think photographic memory is not working memory, because it lasts longer. I think photographic memory is also “larger” than working memory, but with lower fidelity. Details may not be recovered 100% accurately, so you might need some “reasoning” to help fill in some of those details. Reasoning doesn’t help in these tests, because the test data makes no “sense”. It’s just a number of items without any coherence.

2 Likes

I got 12 points on visual, although last couple of levels I was guessing anyway. And numbers I got wrong 7 digits first time and got 9 points second time. Indeed, with numbers 6 digits are easiest to remember since it’s a pair of 3 digit numbers. You can squeeze in one more digits there to get 7. But with 8 it’s hard. One trick is to visually remember first half and mutter under your breath the second part.

2 Likes

After failing miserably at the tests, I tried to reproduce go positions like this:

I watched the picture for about 30 seconds, closed the book and reproduced it on a board. It appears I was successful, so maybe I just need more time but my brain does remember something, contrary to what I feared.

2 Likes

Related

2 Likes

I wouldn’t call that a photographic memory. Or it’s an ancient type of camera.

1 Like

I guess OP was planning to plot rank vs test result. The annoying thing is OP didn’t even bother to do the test and share his results.