One study suggests that people with HSAM may have hyperactivity in certain parts of the brain, such as the amygdala. Regularly thinking about these events helps strengthen the ability to recall them. It’s not understood why some people have HSAM. The second verified case was Brad Williams,[18][19][20][21] the third was Rick Baron,[22] and in 2009, Bob Petrella became the fourth person diagnosed with hyperthymestic syndrome. They have the ability to concentrate deeply, blocking out distractions in the environment around them. The ability to do things automatically, without thinking, is because of your implicit memory. Impulse control issues can occur in children, teens, and adults, and may be connected to other health conditions. Trichophilia is when someone is sexually aroused by hair, typically human head hair. ", "A foundation for savantism? His brain was smaller than average (probably a result of his premature birth at 27 weeks). People with exceptional autobiographical memory don’t use mnemonics to memorize details of their lives. Studies have shown that it is a selective ability, as shown by AJ's case, and they can have comparative difficulty with rote memorization and therefore cannot apply their ability to school and work. Like autistic savants, some individuals with hyperthymesia may also have an unusual and obsessive interest in dates. Although people showing a high level of hyperthymesia are not regarded as autistic, certain similarities exist between the two conditions. We'll discuss what it means and how to manage it. [24][25] The show was initially pitched as a story featuring hyperthymestic violinist Louise Owen, but the reporter Lesley Stahl volunteered her friend Henner as having a similar ability. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional, COVID-19 live updates: Total number of cases passes 47.4 million, New vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease shows potential in mice. People with HSAM process short-term memories the same way as most people do. Hyperthymesia differs from eidetic memory in that it focuses on a person’s ability to recall their autobiographical experiences rather than to hold visualizations in their mind. This causes the gland to produce too much T-4 thyroid hormone. In April 2017, Rebecca Sharrock of Brisbane, Australia became known as a person who claims to recall even circumstantial details of every day of her life from her 12th day of life onward. In some cases, the visualizations may change or become stored as a long-term memory. In fact, some report that rote memorization, such as using repetition to remember things like the multiplication tables, is difficult for them. Those affected describe their memories as uncontrollable associations; when they encounter a date, they "see" a vivid depiction of that day in their heads without hesitation or conscious effort. Potential problems with total recall were illustrated. Autobiographical memory is different than other kinds of memory, such as the following: Have you ever used a rhyme or song to help you remember something? However, current research is ongoing as to whether the ability has a genetic basis. An MRI study conducted on AJ provides a plausible argument as to the neurological foundation of her superior memory. [12] Maybe while reading you were interrupted by some random memory of your early life. Keep reading: Left brain vs. right brain: What’s the difference? To qualify as potentially hyperthymestic, participants must achieve a score at least three standard deviations above the average. Deficits in executive functioning and anomalous lateralisation were also identified in AJ. This extensive and highly unusual memory does not derive from the use of mnemonic strategies; it is encoded involuntarily and retrieved automatically.