Saturday, July 21, 2012
Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory
Did you know that only a handful of individuals have been identified as having extraordinary recall for personal life events? James McGaugh, a memory researcher at UC Irvine, reportedly invented the name hyperthymesia (from the Greek words thymesis meaning remembering and hyper meaning excessive). First described in a 2006 Neurocase article, people with hyperthymesia (who typically are not autistic) exhibit a couple of defining characteristics: they tend to spend a large amount of time thinking about their personal past coupled with an extraordinary capacity for recall. The newer label is Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory or HSAM for short.