British Teen Can Remember Everything He's Done In The Past Nine Years
By: Randy Astaiza
"Aurelien Hayman is a 20-year-old student with an amazing memory. You can ask him about any date and he can remember what he did, what he ate, what he was wearing, his conversations, what was on television and what the weather was like, The Daily Mail reports.
Hayman has rare condition, only diagnosed in 20 people on Earth, called hyperthymesia, or a highly superior autobiographical memory. He started remembering everything when he was 11, but before that he has vague recollections just like everyone else. His story was featured in a Channel 4 documentary.
Long term memories are stored in the right frontal lobe, but the average person can remember no more than 11 events from each year of their life. Hayman's memory is increased by being able to use the right front lobe as well as the left frontal lobe, which normally deals with language, and areas in the brain normally used for storing pictures, The Daily Mail reports. There is no method to his recollection, it is all subconscious.
Giuliana Mazzoni, a psychology professor at the University of Hull in the UK, tested Hayman's memory through a series of questions. The results were stunning, he said: "When we checked the factual information relating to the day of the week, the weather, or a television series he said he'd watched, the information was accurate."
When the Daily Mail asked Hayman asked about his memory, he described it as seeing a "sequence of images." "It's like the dates have pictures" and there are "no gaps at all," he said. The Daily Mail asked him about a random date, October 1, 2006:
Aurelien remembers it was a cloudy Sunday, he listened to the song When You Were Young by The Killers, and he had asked out a girl but been turned down.
Not only that, but he recalls that on the Saturday he was wearing a blue t-shirt and saw the girl who would later rebuff him in the city centre of his native Cardiff, and that on the Thursday there was a power cut at his home.
While this may sound like a great ability to have especially for exams during school, Hayman claims it is not helpful because his memory is autobiographical.
This superhuman memory can also come at a price. Jill Price also has this ability. In an interview with Oprah, she said her earliest memory is from when she was 18 months old.
While Hayman's memory is focused around images, Price's memory is intertwined with her emotions. She can remember and feel everything emotional that happened to her: being hurt, embarrassed, disappointed, insulted, and losing people close to her."