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Woman with perfect memory baffles scientists

Posted on Wednesday, 22 March, 2006 | Comment icon 8 comments


Image credit: Andrew Mason
 
"James McGaugh is one of the world's leading experts on how the human memory system works."

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 Source: ABC News


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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Norwegian Phoenix on 22 March, 2006, 13:38
If everyone was like here some important problems in the world would be solved, but it would just make millions of new problems.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Robert1 on 22 March, 2006, 15:33
Her ability to recall even the most trivial details from events that occured years ago is quite amazing. But I'm not sure if it's as unusual as the researchers claim it to be. I've met several people who exibit the same ability(and others who simply claim to) enough times for me not to regard this person as unique. I think the researchers will need more than one subject to validate their study. They may find that it is not as uncommon as they believe.
Comment icon #3 Posted by SolarThinker on 23 March, 2006, 1:12
Her ability to recall even the most trivial details from events that occured years ago is quite amazing. But I'm not sure if it's as unusual as the researchers claim it to be. I've met several people who exibit the same ability(and others who simply claim to) enough times for me not to regard this person as unique. I think the researchers will need more than one subject to validate their study. They may find that it is not as uncommon as they believe. Then why have these people you talk of not contated someone about it? This is a very immportant discovery that could prove, longterm, to be very... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by Scorpius on 23 March, 2006, 1:16
That is amazing. I hope to see what exactly is "wired differently" in her brain. AJ does have "some sort of compulsive tendencies. She wants order in her life," McGaugh says. "As a child, she would get upset if her mother changed anything in her room because she had a place for everything and wanted everything in its place. "So she does categorize events by the date, but that doesn't explain why she remembers it." I must try this out. Then again, I date my written work everyday and I still don't remember. I wonder if they'd done any specific aptitude tests on her. Then why have these people yo... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by WoDoByMe on 23 May, 2006, 21:19
There was a man that lived in Europe that also had the same type of memory, however to him every memory had a smell. Including the words on the pages that he read.
Comment icon #6 Posted by __Kratos__ on 23 May, 2006, 22:01
I propose her and Ken Jennings go head to head on Jeopardy! The researchers are preparing to take their work in a new direction in hopes of understanding what is going on here. It's possible AJ's brain is wired differently, and that may show up through magnetic resonance imaging. Testing is expected to begin within six months. "We will be looking at her brain, using brain scanning techniques, to see if there's anything that is dramatically different that we can point to," McGaugh says. Why so long for testing? It will be interesting to see though if her brain is different then normal or even m... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by frogfish on 24 May, 2006, 1:45
People like her are called savants...sadly, most are autistic. The key is HOW they see the world. Some see it in numbers, other in colors, and Pea (the true Rainman) sees it in Morse Code.
Comment icon #8 Posted by __Kratos__ on 24 May, 2006, 3:45
People like her are called savants...sadly, most are autistic. The key is HOW they see the world. Some see it in numbers, other in colors, and Pea (the true Rainman) sees it in Morse Code. Actually... So unique, in fact, that the Irvine team has given her condition a new name. They call it hyperthymestic syndrome, based on the Greek word thymesis for "remembering" and hyper, meaning "more than normal." There are 3 pages to the story from the link Saruman provided.


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