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Dracula's Castle (The Real One) On Market; $78 Million Will Get You A Charming Fixer-Upper With Plenty Of Storage Space For Impaling Pikes | Main | Wesley Clark: Hebes From Hymietown Will Push Us Into War With Iran
January 10, 2007

Woman With Perfect Memory "Baffles" Scientists

It should be noted that women with vaginas also "baffle" most scientists. But anyway:

James McGaugh is one of the world's leading experts on how the human memory system works. But these days, he admits he's stumped.

McGaugh's journey through an intellectual purgatory began six years ago when a woman now known only as AJ wrote him a letter detailing her astonishing ability to remember with remarkable clarity even trivial events that happened decades ago.

This remarkable gift for recalling trivial events from decades ago is estimated to be shared by, at most, 98.2% of women. If the trivial event in question casts you in a bad light, that number rises to 99.9+%. *

(* So, so hacky. Thank you, thank you. You know what else bugs me? Peanuts on airplanes and black people who talk in movie theaters. Be sure to tip your waitress. And now let's give it up for our next comic, the guy who played Balky in Perfect Strangers.)

Give her any date, she said, and she could recall the day of the week, usually what the weather was like on that day, personal details of her life at that time, and major news events that occurred on that date.

Like any good scientist, McGaugh was initially skeptical. But not anymore.

"This is real," he says.

McGaugh has spent decades studying how such things as stress hormones and emotions affect memory, and at first he thought AJ's memories were of such emotional power that she couldn't forget them.

But that hypothesis fell short of the mark when it became obvious that "the woman who can't forget" remembers trivial details as clearly as major events. Asked what happened on Aug 16, 1977, she knew that Elvis Presley had died, but she also knew that a California tax initiative passed on June 6 of the following year, and a plane crashed in Chicago on May 25 of the next year, and so forth. Some may have had a personal meaning for her, but some did not.


So unique, in fact, that the Irvine team has given her condition a new name. They call it hyperthymestic syndrome, based on the Greek word thymesis for "remembering" and hyper, meaning "more than normal."

Some day, the researchers say, they hope to know what's different about AJ's brain, but they are still a ways off.

"In order to explain a phenomenon you have to first understand the phenomenon," McGaugh says. "We're at the beginning."

What a waste of money and research man-hours. When I was a lad, before NanSSy PeloSSi imposed a Fascism With A Grin of Botoxed Rictus on AmeriKKKA, we would have just scientifically determined her to be a witch and burned her at the stake. Would have taken twenty minutes and eight buck two bit.

But now? Lots of taxpayer money going right into the pockets of a Whorebride of Satan.

digg this
posted by Ace at 04:33 PM

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