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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Woman Who Remembers Absolutely Everything

Posted by on March 28 at 10:35 AM

Her name is AJ, and she is “bafflling” scientists.

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That's totally fascinating. But isn't that just like autism?

it is just like autism, but like the article says, people with autism or other memory phenomenons cant function in other parts of their life. AJ is a perfectly normal woman, except she remembers everything.

I have been lightly obsessed with this lady since I read about her (she just missed the cut for this week's Last Days), but I can't figure out if she's totally lucky or totally damned.

For artists/writers, memory is gold, and it's easy to think more would clearly be better.

But the ability to forget is one of God's great painkillers, and God only knows what it feels like to live with a brain so burdened with memories--wonderful, agonizing, trivial, and otherwise...

Good point. If I had the ability to remember through booze, I would probably kill myself instantly.

This would be any husband's worst nightmare!

I have to agree with Schamder, it is a great gift to be able to forget. She must be very haunted.

Lilblackcat - I'm a husband and I had the exact same thought! "No, dear, it was July 17, 1998, and we had a flat tire on Rimrock Road, and you said then that you had checked it, but you didn't, I remember perfectly, and now you're doing it again."

This gal would be a smash hit at parties. She should take up a hobby that demands millions of tiny little facts, like trainspotting or record collecting.

Shit. What was I going to write...

I'm calling, and I want my schtick back.

I'm curious though on the Autism front. My brother is like a freaking almanac for the family--if I want to remember what happened on a specific date/year/whatever, I just call him and he's got it. He has Asperger's, a high-functioning form of autism. He seems a bit odd, but honestly most people would never know he's autistic. He's married with two kids and has a job as a programmer. His ability to remember all kinds of things is truly astounding, and he's not impaired in other areas in his life in the way most autistic people are. I'd bet they've hit on the most high-functioning Asperger's woman on the planet.

According to a psychological study, people who have trouble forgetting bad memories are more likely to suffer from depression. The study also showed that it becomes a vicious cycle where, the longer someone is depressed, the more difficult it becomes to forget painful or humiliating memories.

I say she's cursed.

Color me unimpressed. So is McGaugh, "one of the world's leading experts on how the human memory system works", up for tenure review and needing to elevate his name recognition or something? Because this woman's abilities are not unheard of in others, and I just don't see what the big deal is.

The "Woman With Perfect Memory Baffles Scientists" title is certainly a nice touch as far as empty hyperbole goes, though. Considering that normal human memory could still accurately be said to "baffle scientists", is it really any surprise?

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