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Author Topic: I Don't Remember Seeing This Before  (Read 1715 times)

Ralf Maximus

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I Don't Remember Seeing This Before
« on: November 20, 2007, 08:59:41 PM »
Courtesy of National Geographic, this fascinating account of two unique individuals with memory problems, and a backgrounder on how scientists think memory works.

http://magma.nationa...emory/foer-text.html

RememberThis.png

One guy (can't remember his name, har) is 81 years old but due to a brain infection, can't remember anything prior to about 1960.  Not only that, but he's lost all ability to memorize new information, short of a span lasting hours, perhaps minutes.  Researchers visit him almost daily, and each visit is as the first: he answers their ridiculous questions, never realizing he's answered them before.

But other than that, he's a completely normal, intelligent, engaging adult.  It's like his RAM is fine, but there's a fault in his harddrive.

Another case (damn, can't remember her name either) revolves around a woman with perfect recall.  She remembers every day of her life with disturbing precision.  She can tell you the weather for June 10, 1990.  She can play back for you the dialog from every television program she's ever watched, ever.  She can tell you what her apartment smelled like during each episode, who she spoke with on the phone, what was said -- for most of her life.

Is it a blessing?  A curse?  How many of us have wished for perfect recall?  Well, her story might sober you right up and make you GLAD you can't remember what you just stepped into the kitchen to get.

Assuming you remember to click the link at the top of the page.

app103

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Re: I Don't Remember Seeing This Before
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2007, 09:21:40 PM »
Having an incredible memory is a blessing when you or others want you to remember things (examples: never having to study for a test, remembering where the car is parked, being able to 'taste' a cookie you last had when you were 12, that the original recipe is long lost and knowing what is missing from attempts to recreate it) and a curse when you or others would rather you forget (example: too much 'incriminating' detail of some event that took place when you were 3 years old).

Having an above average ability to remember certain types of things, myself, I know too well the disadvantages of it. (examples: arguments with my mom involving whether she ever had long black hair, whether my dad quit smoking before I was born or after and what brand he smoked, being able to still 'taste' my stepmother's horrible zucchini & tomato sauce she served when I was 9, being able to quote people on things they insist they never said, with details of where, when, and what they were wearing when they said it, etc)

Deozaan

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Re: I Don't Remember Seeing This Before
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2007, 12:49:29 PM »
One guy (can't remember his name, har) is 81 years old but due to a brain infection, can't remember anything prior to about 1960.  Not only that, but he's lost all ability to memorize new information, short of a span lasting hours, perhaps minutes.

I have no idea what you're talking about! :-\ Can you clarify for all of us geeks?

It's like his RAM is fine, but there's a fault in his harddrive.

Oh! I get it!  :D ;D :P