December 20, 2010

"For me, I will often see a calendar in my head, and it's usually a month at a time."

"When I hear the date, it's like my brain immediately goes to a position on a calendar and once I locate it, I see what happened instantly."

26 comments:

Kansas City said...

The segment and these people with super memories were incredible. It also gave some hope to treating/curing health problems like Alzheimers.

And the actress Merylu Henner [sp?] was one of them. I hope this is not one of those amazing stories that you see and then it leads to nothing.

People should watch it.

rhhardin said...

I bet she holds grudges.

Lem said...

I watched that.. its a win for the left wing Supremes and their living, evolving Constitution ;)

Titus said...

It's fucking snowing here again.

And it's still cold.

India take me away.

Titus said...

Do most of you oldies go away to warmer climates in th winter?

I hope so.

Nothing worse than not being able to get out of the house and go for a healthy walk in decent weather.

Lem said...

The common denominator?

They all use to eat TastyKake. by the truckload.

Chase said...

The only real problem is that you will always lose an argument with these people if it has to do with a shared experience.

Us average people:"I told you about that".

Person with super autobiographical memory: "Uh, no you didn't"

Us: "Damn!"

End of argument.



But here's the most fascinating question: if there were surgery available to give such an ability to anyone who wants it -

would you want it?

Bruce Hayden said...

Interesting though, a good friend of mine had such a memory up until a bit over two years ago, when medical malpractice caused her heart to stop for a couple of minutes. The results were like drowning, with central vision noticeably impaired. And, all of a sudden, she didn't have that photographic memory any longer. Indeed, her memory seems a bit impaired now.

She used to be a bit scary. She could recite conversations and what she wore back in kindergarten. When she was in high school and college, she could read a book once, and then replay it for the relevant parts during the finals. Got her straight As, without the need to memorize anything.

But, now, she is still pretending to have that photographic memory, and doesn't. I know she doesn't. She knows she doesn't. But whenever it comes down to her memory versus mine, she still pretends that hers is perfect, and I must be hallucinating.

E.M. Davis said...

Gift? or Curse?

MadisonMan said...

The interesting question is: Why is it not the default state?

peter hoh said...

It was the default state, before Eve took a bite out of the Forbidden Fruit.

john said...

I wonder if artists and musicians are more susceptible to this. We have a family member, a wonderful musician, who appears to have a similar talent.

peter hoh said...

It was a fascinating segment. First time I've watched 60 Minutes since -- geez, I don't know when the last time was. It's been at least a dozen years (that's about when my kids started watching The Simpsons).

The other main segment gave a lot of time to Chris Christie. I suppose someone here can tell me how that shows that the MSM is biased against conservatives, but whatever.

The issue was state deficits. Not news to those who have been paying attention, but 60 Minutes was able to highlight the issue in a way that made it seem like a rather urgent issue.

Is it really true that Arizona sold its capitol and other state buildings to investor groups who are now leasing those buildings back to the state? Crazy.

peter hoh said...

John, might be. One of the 5 interviewed for the show is a musician.

FWIW, they all seemed to have a little OCD going on.

AST said...

My wife has a memory like that, although I don't think she visualizes a calender. She does it with math.

Conserve Liberty said...

When learning Latin in High School I never really knew the language. Rather, when translating, I merely pictured the pages in my primer showing each word's definition, or the conjugation or declination table, and assembled clauses by the endings on the verbs and articles.

Got me A's, but Virgil was a bugger.

edutcher said...

Supposedly, Douglas MacArthur was like that.

I barely remember Tuesday.

HDHouse said...

@John There was a fair amount of music education research on musical memories in the late 60s at Teachers College by a guy named Pace. One of the things I remember from his class was that it isn't unusual for an active orchestra musician to be able to listen to music totally in the mind or from memory and hear 1,000 plus complete pieces start to end and to remember individual performances, concert programs, performers and the myriad orchestral parts (not just their own) and be able to write them out or play them having never seen them - just from hearing others.

MrBuddwing said...

I was reminded of the old quote (variously attributed, sometimes to Ingrid Bergman): "Happiness is good health and a bad memory."

I think for most people, there's something to be said for a memory that's just good enough to hold onto most of life's happy experiences, and bad enough that the awful experiences pleasantly go out of focus with each passing year.

Word verification: conif.

Peano said...

Chase said... But here's the most fascinating question: if there were surgery available to give such an ability to anyone who wants it -

would you want it?


Want what?

ricpic said...

I wonder if artists and musicians are more susceptible to this?

That's a good question and I think the answer is yes concerning their work. I don't claim to be an artist but I have done a considerable amount of plein air painting and when I look at a painting, long after I have painted it, all of the particulars of that painting: the exact position my easel was in when I painted it; the weather; the painting problems I was struggling with and overcame..or didn't; the interruptions (unless you're painting in the middle of nowhere there are always people who can't resist making a comment)...all that comes back clearly.

Other than that my memory is swiss cheese.

prairie wind said...

So Eve bit the apple and then God let her forget about it? Gift or curse?

kcom said...

I saw Marilu Henner on David Letterman's show many years ago (probably more than 20, I don't remember the exact day :) talking about this ability. I think she was telling him what she was wearing on any given date he came up with. So she's been open about it for many years.

Penny said...

They gave these five people an MRI and found that two portions of their brains were a lot larger, both having to do with memory, and one part connected to suspected OCD. What they still don't know is if these areas are larger because they were born this way, or if they are larger because they used these portions of their brains more in the course of categorizing these events.

It's the classic chicken/egg question.

Penny said...

There were a few things I found striking. The OCD component was previously mentioned. The other data point was that only one of the five was married. That was Marilu Henner, and she had been married three times. Given the age group of these five, that seemed outside the norm of a random collection of five people.

traditionalguy said...

Is this memory tool that rare? As we get older, the memories get more realistic like walking through them in present time. Yet the question still remains how accurate that memory was when it was formed. Attorneys find many times that eye witnesses have a very bad memory of what actually happened...they remember something that is wrong.My personal epiphany was learning, and believing possible, just how bad most peoples minds are at what I once believed was "existing normal"in mental skills. Now that doesn't frustrate me or make me angry at people for faking misunderstandings, or making mistakes. Dumb is the existing normal(Present company excepted).