Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM)

Highly superior autobiographical memory is abbreviated as HSAM. Hyperthymestic syndrome or hyperthymesia are its synonyms. It is a memory-related phenomenon or abnormality in which a person remembers a large no. of events held in his past life. Basically, it consists of two characteristics, i.e., a person thinks about his past activities or events happening now in detail and observes everything 2nd characteristic is about recalling any past event within seconds.

The word hyperthymesia is derived from two words, i.e., hyper, which means excessive and thymesis, which means remembering. It is an ancient Greek. People with hyperthymesia can recall almost every day of their past life with the exact date and time of event held in the past. When a person with highly superior autobiographical memory tries to tell or explain about any life event held in the past, they recall everything in their mind with scenes (including everything they saw and listen). People do not even hesitate while describing any scene. Hyperthymesia resemble many other memory-related disorders.

Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM)

So, people should learn about it completely to distinguish it from other diseases. This extensive abnormal memory is not a voluntary action, but it is totally involuntary, and retrieving is automatic. Hyperthymesia is different from autism and savant syndrome as in later two, the calendrical calculation is required to recall any event. But in hyperthymesia, a person does not have to recall the day of the week. It is really important to diagnose this disorder and distinguish it from others. Diagnosis includes some tests related to lateralization, memory, language, calculations, IQ, visual-spatial, visual motor, and some executive functions. Hyperthymestic people have poor memory regarding arbitrary information.

Most people reported that "it is an uncontrollable and totally exhausting," and some people say that "it is a burden to memorize everything." The person thinks about the past all the time and is not able to attend his present properly and do not even plan his future properly.

Some people live in their past all the time. They are not able to memorize new things. Scientists state that hyperthymesia is not about remembering all the past life perfectly, but it is a selective ability (remembering some special or autobiographical event really close to them). They may not remember what someone has said, but he can tell about someone's clothes and color of clothes. Information contained by the Hyperthymestic person is semantic, and it can only be recalled by semantic clues. When a clue is received, a person remembers all his past events like a series in the form of episodes—one thought intriguer second thought and so on.

These memory episodes resemble the spreading activation model. One person starts thinking, he cannot stop it willingly. The person talks differently from what he thinks. The basic physiology behind this highly superior autobiographical memory is an enlargement of the temporal lobe and the caudate nucleus. As temporal lobe is responsible for saving, storage, and encoding memory. It is a very sensitive disorder, so the treatment plan contains some therapies like psychological and physical therapies to relax the mind and body of patients.
Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM) Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM) Reviewed by Simon Albert on June 20, 2020 Rating: 5
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