Healthy People Not Remembering Their Lives

Posted on June 6, 2015

Photo: flickr

In Canada, Psychologists discovered that there could be a new memory syndrome in healthy people with specific inability to re-live their past. It seems like a form of amnesia however the patients do not have history of brain damage or illness or any psychological trauma.

Those who have the ability to recall their lives in extreme details are known to have hyperthymesia or highly superior autobiographical memory. While, this recent research suggest that the patients are facing the opposite extreme of the hyperthymesia syndrome. In other words, severely deficient autobiographical memory.

The individuals examined have high daily functioning, a proper job. Yet, they are unable to recollect or relive past events from a first-person perspective. They tend to only be fully aware when they are in late teens. They are able to remember facts and skills.

Through evidence, they perform generally normal or better at neuropsychological testing for intelligence, memory and mental performance. However, they are unable to draw a complex figure (details) from memory. Thus, this visual memory deficit could possibly explain their lack of autobiographical memories.

From a subjective perspective, the patients describe their past memories as distant and lacking in first-person perspective and often do not “re-experience” events.

Through an objective brain scan, when patients try to recall autobiographical details from their pasts, there was less activity in key brain areas associated with autobiographical memory.

For more information, you could refer to the researchers’ website at www.deficientautobiographicalmemory.com


Category(s):Cognitive Problems Amnesia / Dementia

Source material from British Psychological Society


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