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ID: 1638259
Article: Hyperthymesia
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Deficits in executive functioning and anomalous lateralisation were also identified in AJ. These cognitive deficiencies are characteristic of [[Frontostriatal circuit|frontostriatal]] disorders.<ref name=Parker />
Deficits in executive functioning and anomalous lateralisation were also identified in AJ. These cognitive deficiencies are characteristic of [[Frontostriatal circuit|frontostriatal]] disorders.<ref name=Parker />
Due to the scarcity of hyperthymestic individuals, relatively little is known about the processes governing this superior memory ability.
Unconfirmed claims have been made that individuals who achieve Operating Thetan level 4 have all had cases of hyperthymesia.
It has been proposed that the information encoded by hyperthymestics is semantic and therefore semantic cues are used in retrieval. Once cued, the memory is retrieved as episodic and follows a pattern similar to that of a [[spreading activation]] model. This is particularly evident in AJ's case. She describes how one memory triggers another, which in turn triggers another and how she is powerless to stop it: "It's like a split screen; I'll be talking to someone and seeing something else."<ref name=Parker />
This theory serves to explain why hyperthymestics have both a sense of 'knowing' ([[semantic memory]]) and 'remembering' ([[episodic memory]]) during recollection. Hence, hyperthymesia is essentially superior semantic autobiographical memory.<ref name=Parker />
Individuals with hyperthymesia often display [[OCD]] tendencies. AJ reports that from a young age, she would become upset when order in her environment was disturbed. She kept a daily diary for 32 years as a way of maintaining control over her environment. Hoarding behaviour is also common,<ref name=Shafy /> both AJ and Williams collect TV guides. This obsessive-compulsive nature may be facilitating consolidation of memories and could explain the unconscious use of dates as organised mnemonic devices.<ref name=NJ>{{cite web|last=Ellis Nut|first=Amy|title=Picturing the Past: How Science is Mapping Memory (Part 2)|url=|publisher=New Jersey On-Line|accessdate=2 December 2011}}</ref>
The theory that hyperthymestic abilities could be attributed to a failure in our cognitive capacity to forget superfluous information has been suggested by numerous researchers.<ref name=Treffert /> Parker et al. report on how executive difficulties, such as lack of inhibition, may explain the constant and unstoppable memory retrieval. "It is, however, quite possible that there is no causal relationship and that the overall parallels between her memory and her neuropsychological weaknesses are simply correlative."<ref name=Parker />
An [[MRI]] study conducted on AJ provides a solid argument as to the neurological foundation of her superior memory.<ref name=Shafy /><ref>Elias, Marilyn. [ "MRIs reveal possible source of woman's super-memory"]. ''USA Today''. January 28, 2009</ref> Both the [[temporal lobe]] and the [[caudate nucleus]] were found to be enlarged. The [[hippocampus]], located in the medial temporal lobe, is involved in the encoding of [[declarative memory]] (memory for facts and events), while the [[temporal cortex]] is involved in the storage of such memory.<ref>{{cite journal|last=Svoboda|first=Eva|coauthors=McKinnon, MC & Levine, B|title=The functional neuroanatomy of autobiographical memory: A meta-analysis|journal=Neuropsychologia|date=27 June 2006|volume=44|issue=12|pages=2189–2208|accessdate=6 December 2011}}</ref>
The [[caudate nucleus]] is primarily associated with [[procedural memory]], in particular habit formation, and is therefore intrinsically linked to [[Obsessive Compulsive Disorder]].
Parker and colleagues speculated that a defective [[frontostriatal circuit]] could be responsible for the observed executive function deficits in hyperthymesia. This circuit plays a crucial role in neurodevelopmental disorders such as ASD, OCD and ADHD. Given the parallels in some aspects of behaviour, it is possible that AJ's hyperthymestic abilities stem from atypical neurodevelopment.
This evidence provides significant support both for the extraordinary memory abilities and the behaviours of hyperthymestics. Scientists now need to ascertain if and how these brain areas are connected in order to establish a coherent neurological model for superior autobiographical memory. "This may be a key piece of the puzzle as to how memory works"
Reason: ANN scored at 0.959951
Reporter Information
Reporter: 167.25 (anonymous)
Date: Sunday, the 7th of August 2016 at 06:50:59 AM
Status: Reported
Sunday, the 7th of August 2016 at 06:50:59 AM #105395
167.25 (anonymous)

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