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 Super memory is a curse and blessing

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Neferti
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Neferti

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PostSubject: Super memory is a curse and blessing   Super memory is a curse and blessing EmptyTue 18 Sep 2018, 8:11 am

Imagine having the ability to recall precise details from nearly every day of your life.

The intricate memories of what you saw, heard, smelt and most importantly how you felt. The wonderful moments and the terrible ones.

Even with all the memory tricks in the world, for most of us, this is an impossible dream.

Yet some people, like 28-year-old Rebecca Sharrock, have an extraordinary memory.

Ms Sharrock has been diagnosed with highly superior autobiographical memory (H-SAM).

Around 60 people worldwide have been identified as having H-SAM and most of them can describe with great accuracy what they were doing on almost any given date, providing details including what they were wearing, what was around them and their emotions at the time.

In other words, they have a super memory.

Naturally, neuroscientists are curious to know just how this is possible and very importantly, what implications there may be for the rest of us, in terms of improving our memory.

Researchers like Associate Professor Gail Robinson, a clinical neuropsychologist at the University of Queensland, have been working with Ms Sharrock to try to understand how her brain manages to encode such detailed memories.

When painful memories never fade.

Ms Sharrock can describe baby scenes from as early as 12 days old — and her astonishing memory abilities have been both a blessing and curse.

For many people, the memory of a difficult day or painful encounter fades with time, but for those with H-SAM, it can remain as fresh as ever.

For years, Ms Sharrock struggled with depression, anxiety and insomnia, while wrestling a flood of negative memories.

Ms Sharrock describes the unique solution she developed as a nine-year-old.

"I found that I'd go to sleep if I've read Harry Potter to myself, but I had to have my eyes open to read the books," she said.

"I thought to myself, 'I've got to find a way of reading Harry Potter to myself with my eyes closed'. So it came to me, 'Why don't I just memorise them?'"

And so, she did. Every line and every chapter of the entire, seven-book Harry Potter series.

Even now, if you read a line from the beginning of any chapter, Ms Sharrock can, from memory, recite it.

But she concedes her memory is not perfect, nor is it photographic.

Just like the rest of us, she can fail to put a name to a face, and testing with simple memory tests often fails to capture the true extent of her extraordinary abilities.

Ms Sharrock also has a complex personal history, and she also lives with autism and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

It seems most people with H-SAM have OCD, a mental health condition where people can check things repeatedly or perform certain routines in a compulsive way.

Certainly, when Ms Sharrock focuses on a task like learning a book, she gives it her full attention. There's no multitasking, watching screens or doing other distracting activities.

She often paces and squeezes a squeegee ball at the same time.

Yet while OCD is a relatively common disorder, affecting millions around the world, only a tiny number of people have the ability to retain great chunks of autobiographical memory.

So, it certainly is not the central key to understanding how H-SAM works.

Using stories to remember

I met Ms Sharrock to get a sense of what her life is like.

She lives in Brisbane in an incredible, magical house full of Harry Potter Lego, with hand-painted mystery panels on the walls, a Harry Potter collection of 60 wands and a menagerie of pets.


More here:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-09-18/memory-life-with-hsam-highly-superior-autobiographical-memory/10255284
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Veritas

Veritas

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PostSubject: Re: Super memory is a curse and blessing   Super memory is a curse and blessing EmptyTue 18 Sep 2018, 7:19 pm

So is it just a matter of everyone having a great memory but only a few of us having the ability to totally recall all those memories at will?
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miketrees



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Join date : 2018-07-23
Location : Perth Hills

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PostSubject: Re: Super memory is a curse and blessing   Super memory is a curse and blessing EmptyFri 04 Jan 2019, 12:29 pm



A few years ago I went to a school reunion( yes they had schools back then).
There were some old photos and I was able to remember most of the names, much to the amazement of the others there.

No drugs, no alcohol is what I put it down to.
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Neferti
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Neferti

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PostSubject: Re: Super memory is a curse and blessing   Super memory is a curse and blessing EmptyFri 04 Jan 2019, 6:04 pm

Nobody I went to school with took drugs. My sisters and their kids have never taken drugs.  My daughter and her friends didn't take drugs and now my teenage grandkids aren't into drugs either.

Well done remembering the names of your classmates ... I still remember names from Primary School, none of whom I had anything to do with in later years.

No dementia here, mate. Shocked
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miketrees



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PostSubject: Re: Super memory is a curse and blessing   Super memory is a curse and blessing EmptyFri 01 Mar 2019, 3:25 pm

See,,, prohibition does work.

It worked for me
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Neferti
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Neferti

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PostSubject: Re: Super memory is a curse and blessing   Super memory is a curse and blessing EmptyFri 01 Mar 2019, 4:34 pm

How's things, Mike?
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miketrees



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PostSubject: Re: Super memory is a curse and blessing   Super memory is a curse and blessing EmptyFri 01 Mar 2019, 5:31 pm



I have been out of full time work since October ,,,, sacked for doing my job.

Safety Manager is a dodgy job if you work for a bent company and you dont hide everything.

And doing that is how people get killed.

So just been doing a day here and there in construction.

Today I have a full time job again so I feel a lot better.

have been doing volunteer work at a St Vincent de Paul store,,, quite liked that and it certainly took me out of my comfort zone.

I think having the vinnies on my resume helped me get another job.

I am now the production manager for a charity that runs a native plant nursery.

I have been propagating bush tucker plants at home and I think they want some of that expertise and add bush tucker plants on their sales list.
There will be some fun work commercialising some of those plants.



And your good self?
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Neferti
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Neferti

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PostSubject: Re: Super memory is a curse and blessing   Super memory is a curse and blessing EmptyFri 01 Mar 2019, 6:21 pm

miketrees wrote:


I have been out of full time work since October ,,,, sacked for doing my job.

Safety Manager is a dodgy job if you work for a bent company and you dont hide everything.

And doing that is how people get killed.

So just been doing a day here and there in construction.

Today I have a full time job again so I feel a lot better.

have been doing volunteer work at a St Vincent de Paul store,,, quite liked that and it certainly took me out of my comfort zone.

I think having the vinnies on my resume helped me get another job.

I am now the production manager for a charity that runs a native plant nursery.

I have been propagating bush tucker plants at home and I think they want some of that expertise and add bush tucker plants on their sales list.
There will be some fun work commercialising some of those plants.



And your good self?

Sounds like you are keeping busy, Mike. Volunteer work is probably good for the soul. You are probably not old enough to retire yet ...  

If you are between jobs, have you thought about doing service for the Oldies?  My Age Care and their service providers are always looking for people to take people to doctors appointments and so forth. May not be your cup of tea, but would give you contact with people and something to do ... I gather they pay petrol and so forth.

https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/service-providers?fragment=service-provider-portal
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miketrees



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PostSubject: Re: Super memory is a curse and blessing   Super memory is a curse and blessing EmptyFri 01 Mar 2019, 6:24 pm



I have a full time job as of today
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