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See Inside Scientific American Volume 310, Issue 2

What It Means to Have An Extraordinary Memory for Past Events [Video]

Some people recollect what happened 10 or 20 years ago as if it were the day before yesterday

Everyone knows someone with a good memory. But what does that really mean? Does the person have a photographic memory, or just better-than-average recollection of names and dates? Recently, neuroscientists have started to characterize what a super memory really means, in some cases. An article in the February issue of Scientific American—“The Discovery of Super Memories”—describes the research that went into the discovery of what is now called Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM).

Watch here a segment of CBS’s 60 Minutes that interviews people with HSAM, who are able to recall events from 10 or 20 years as if they happened in the recent past. Some of the press coverage about HSAM, in fact, helped the researchers find new people with superior memories.

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