I believe it’s all in the mind

So having watched the channel 4 program about people who remember everything, what do we think about how and why they do it? When they were asked this question they made the very common response, ‘I don’t know, I just do’. Channel 4 programme here.
For the student Aurelien, he remembered everything from a very young age, for Jill, she only remembered everything from a specific point in time later in her life. I was intrigued to know, was there something physically unique about their brain, something different from the rest of us, or were they just using it differently? As the program went on I found myself wanting to know how did they really feel about this ‘gift’? Was there anything important about it for them? If it was not a result of a physical difference in the brain, what was their motivation for doing this? What was the meaning behind the action?
The boy Aurelien seemed to find the whole experience quite pleasant, whereas Jill suffered bouts of depression and anxiety, and seemed to resent it. Quite rightly the program prompted us to question whether this was a genuine ability, or just an elaborate staged display of well known memory techniques. Renowned memory champion Dominic O’Brien was unable to identify a process or scheme in Aurelien’s ability. So what was going on?
For me, the key came towards the end of the program when we were given an insight into the way that Jill and Aurelien look at their lives and what is important to them about day to day events. Both Jill and Aurelien felt it was important to keep a record of their lives, although both of them did this in a slightly different way, at some point they had both made a decision that remembering was very important. Jill kept a meticulous detailed personal diary/journal of everything she did in minutiae, almost to an obsessive degree, even though she claimed that she never referred back to it. Aurelien placed great importance on collecting and keeping an extensive photographic record of things. It is clear that they both place great value on the importance of their memories, and that they both hold a belief that remembering is important…

Channel 4 programme here.

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I believe it’s all in the mind

So having watched the channel 4 program about people who remember everything, what do we think about how and why they do it? When they were asked this question they made the very common response, ‘I don’t know, I just do’.

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