Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory

Cleo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I watched the following 60 minutes special on youtube the other day about this exceptional type of memory. This type of memory is also called hyperthymesia or hyperthymestic syndrome. I find the topic fascinating for some reason. At about 11:28 min. into the video, they discuss findings from the volunteer subject's MRI scans.

 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I think I suffer from something very similar to this - similar, not exactly the same. Looking at the Wikipedia article, it says:

"...spending an excessive amount of time thinking about one's past, and displaying an extraordinary ability to recall specific events from one's past. ... can recall much of their lives in near perfect detail, as well as public events that hold some personal significance to them. Those affected describe their memories as uncontrollable associations; when they encounter a date, they "see" a vivid depiction of that day in their heads. Recollection occurs without hesitation or conscious effort."

Well, I never thought I spent and "excessive" amount of time thinking about the past, but then maybe I don't know what is normal? I can certainly remember most of my life in detail, and some public events, and it is certainly true that when I encounter a date I can, in a lot of cases, rehearse in my mind the details of that date.

But actually, for me, it is more about data than date. A bit of data can induce a whole cascade of "uncontrollable associations". It's not unpleasant, it's instructive. And it isn't done by any conscious act, it just happens.
 

caballero reyes

The Living Force
Laura said.
< But actually, for me, it is more about data than date. A bit of data can induce a whole cascade of "uncontrollable associations". It's not unpleasant, it's instructive. And it isn't done by any conscious act, it just happens >.


It just happens, yes, but, I think that if a past act you can bring to the present this has to be a conscious act, otherwise,
you would not remember it.
 

Cleo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
In the video below Marilu Henner (who has this form of exceptional memory) describes the visuals that take shape in her mind after a year is named for her to recall. She says it is like seeing, "selective scenes on a DVD":




FWIW, after viewing the above I was reminded of a part of a C's session about memory, wherein there is mention of a 'slide projector.' It's from Session 17 June 1995.
 
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Cleo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
She says it is like seeing, "selective scenes on a DVD":

Correction, what she said is: "selected scenes on a DVD"

I just realized too that Marilu Henner already said the above in the first video I linked to, I guess I forgot by the time I linked to the second video..:rolleyes:

Anyway, something else that caught my eye on the topic is where it says in the Wikipedia article:

“...it has been suggested that superior autobiographical memory is intimately tied to time-space synaesthesia.”

I found the following article interesting in light of this:

The cognitive benefits of time-space synaesthesia

Also, thanks Laura for sharing your observations. After I saw the 60 minutes show I remember looking up more info on the difference between photographic memory and hyperthymesia, remembering too that I’d read somewhere about your having a photographic memory.
 
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