The Human Sticky Notes

Kavya Muralidharan
5 min readJan 18, 2021

Memory and minds can be indeed tricky!

Mind and memory games are exciting, right?

Mind and Memory | Source: Pixabay

Memories are just illustrative episodes of our life, deeply etched in our brains, and it is HARD to forget them. Well, the reason why we retain some moments distinctly is accredited to the hippocampus present in our brains that captures exciting and alluring incidents.

Even memories strongly engraved in our brain cells tend to get washed away with time like footprints by the sea. We don’t and can’t remember them all. Of course, that’s impossible. Or is it?

Impossible? | Source: Pixabay

Ever wondered what life would be like if you were to remember every instance of your life with every minute detail in your head? Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to remember all that your teacher taught in class or to relive moments from a fun family trip? Not always as happy as a clam on a full tide!

Memory and minds can be indeed tricky!

Around the globe, only 61 of the nearly 8 billion population possess a unique ability to recall every moment in their lives as though a camera captures them all. This uncommon condition is termed as Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM) or Hyperthymesia.

Source: Pixabay

This condition was first identified in a school administrator, Jill Price (nicknamed AJ by researchers), from Southern California. Every event associated with a day being spoken about just appeared in front of her, what dress she was wearing, what conversations she was involved in and so on. Literally everything!

This train of past caused a lot of frustration and regrets that she contacted Dr. James McGaugh, one of the world’s foremost memory experts. He considered her claims to possess superior memory to be merely a hoax, but he was totally amazed after examining this ability by various assessments taken by his colleagues. She was able to recall every day of her life since she was 14. James McGaugh and fellow researchers documented her behaviour and mentioned that science was completely oblivious to this shade of the human brain.

Source: Pixabay

She authored the book “The Woman Who Can’t Forget”, which sketches every tiny detail of her life with the condition. This book demanded her media appearances, and she became a fascination and a living library.

Source: Pixabay

A few years later, many such living libraries came to light. Among them was Marilu Henner, an American actress and author, who claims that she possesses superior memory. Famous for the series “Taxi”, she states that she remembers every scene and every episode of her life. Here, she recollects an incident related to the postponement of the Academy Awards 1981 accurately.

While there arose many such prodigies who claimed to have a superior memory, there was a lot of craze and interest among common people in knowing how their brains function. Although the number is less, these people had conflicting opinions on how this ability blends with their daily life.

Everything lines up like a DVD collection, month after month, and I choose which particular one to go through — Marilu Henner

Marilu Henner was the most excited individual among all of them. She believed this ability to be a boon to her life, to be able to show off her gift and to educate normal beings like ourselves to develop an autobiographical memory through her book “Total Memory Makeover”.

I keep wondering what life would have been if I had chosen the other path — Jill Price

Jill Price was never fond of this capacity; furthermore, she is disappointed that her mind keeps living in both the past and the present. That makes her feel miserable, and she considers this ability a burden because horrendous relationships and regretful decisions keep running at the back of her head. She often feels stuck in a quicksand of sadness. She clarifies that this “loop of memories” is merely autobiographical and that she could not reflect this ability in her academics.

They are always vying for my sight to be cast upon them — Louise Owen

On the other hand, a completely neutral Louise Owen, a renowned violinist, says that she could recollect her thoughts by steering back and forth the timeline and jump to the desired scene at any point in time.

Their brains work like Google Search Engine — James McGaugh

Source: Pixabay

Well, this unique skill has no scientific explanation, according to Mr.James McGaugh and his colleagues, but certain common behaviours were being noted among such people. One such was their excessive obsession with organization, be it their wardrobe or their shoes arranged in a specific fashion or keeping track of events and journaling regularly.

With advancements in technology, an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan was carried out for Jill, Marilu, and Louise to inspect their brains. Through analysis, they discovered that the caudate nucleus present in the brain was nearly 7 times larger than that of a normal human being. Woah, nice! But scientific research continues to happen to discover some distinctive traits that HSAM people possess.

Through this article, I hope I have portrayed a whole new SUPERIOR MEMORY ability that lets these superhumans live their present with a tinge of their past, both happy and sad. They relive every moment of their lives. Amazing!

Source: Pixabay

Every one of us is what we are due to our memories, we might not remember all the 365 days of a year, but we shall definitely live our present, especially those TERRIFIC moments to the fullest.

If you loved what you read today, please clap for this article and leave your comments below!

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