You might recall the name of Marilu Henner. She was the flame-haired "resting" actress/cabbie who had Danny De Vito and Judd Hirsch competing for her affections in eighties TV hit Taxi!. De Vito especially is a household name. However, chances are if in say 1982 (before your fulfilling life in L&TD) you were having a crack at Hollywood on the Taxi! set as an extra, she'd remember you well. That's because Marilu has a super-developed memory. Another memory talent is known as a human calendar recalling world events both momentous and mediocre from the fall of the Berlin wall to a neighbour’s cracked garden wall in the same year. The phenomenon is known as Highly. Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM).
1. These autobiographical memories are linked to emotions and feelings as opposed to semantic memory which recalls facts. Research shows an It’s not savant behaviour sometimes found in autism cases and it isn't the use of memory feats. Under lab conditions they recall events flawlessly.
2. Enlarged temporal lobes, the region responsible for processing were present in 11 deep study subjects who have this super-talent. The caudate nucleus region of the brain associated with OCD also showed heightened activity and such behaviours were observed in all of the subjects.
3. The research is the first to focus on talent not deficits amongst stroke patients for example and those given surgery to "cure" epilepsy. It offers lessons to all of us in memory improvement.
The researchers quoted in the article emphasise a critical concept in evidence based research. Just because they can show a correlation (a link between two occurrences), we can’t assume that one was caused by the other. (Causation). That said it shows that if we focus on the emotional connection we can recall more, especially when these are poignant, painful. I bet you all remmeber where you were when your first crush dumped you! (New Scientist 18th August 2012)
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