Jill Price

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Jill Price (Born Jill Rosenberg, December 30, 1965, in New York City) is one of about twenty subjects positively diagnosed with the condition hyperthymesia and was the person whose case pioneered such research. She is able to recite details of every day of her life since she was fourteen years old.[1] She can recall various obscure moments of her life in great detail.[2] Her condition, termed hyperthymesia, or "hyperthymestic syndrome", is characterized by a highly superior autobiographical memory.

Her case was originally researched by a team at the University of California, Irvine - Elizabeth Parker, Larry Cahill and James McGaugh. Price can apparently recall every day of her life from when she was 14 years old: "Starting on February 5th, 1980, I remember everything. That was a Tuesday."[3] The first report on the study of her brain was published in 2006.[4] In 2008 she co-authored the book The Woman Who Can't Forget, explaining her life with the condition.[2]

Price's brain was subject to a brain scan and the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex were reportedly normal. It was claimed by research psychologist Gary Marcus, however, that her brain resembled those of people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Based upon tests he performed on her as well as personal observations, Marcus has speculated that her unusual autobiographical memory is actually a byproduct of compulsively making journal and diary entries.[5] Price has since reacted angrily to such claims and McGaugh has also expressed scepticism for such an explanation.[6] In September 2012, Price gave her first interview in over a year for the UK's Channel 4 documentary The Boy Who Can't Forget and provided an insight into just how difficult life can be for people who have this condition.[6]

Research scientist Dr. Julia Simner, at the Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, has speculated that her abilities are intimately tied to her visualizations of time in space, a form of synesthesia.[7]

Published works[edit]

Price, J. and Davis, B. 2008, The Woman Who Can't Forget: The Extraordinary Story of Living with the Most Remarkable Memory Known to Science—A Memoir, Free Press, ISBN 1-416-5617-65

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gray, Keturah; Escherich, Katie ''It Makes Me Crazy: Woman Can't Forget', ABC News May 9, 2008
  2. ^ a b Elias, Marilyn (May 6, 2008). "Decades of details flood woman with unmatched memory". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  3. ^ Shafy, Samiha. "An Infinite Loop in the Brain". The Science of Memory. Spiegel Online. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  4. ^ Parker, Elizabeth, et al. (2006, vol. 12, page 35-49). "A Case of Unusual Autobiographical Remembering". Neurocase. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
  5. ^ Marcus, Gary (2009-03-23). "Total Recall: The Woman Who Can't Forget". WIRED MAGAZINE: 17.04. Retrieved 21 December 2011. 
  6. ^ a b The Boy Who Can't Forget UK, channel4.com, first broadcast 25 September 2012
  7. ^ Simner, Julia, et al. (2009, vol. 45, page 1246-60). "A foundation for savantism? Visuo-spatial synaesthetes present with cognitive benefits". Cortex. 

External links[edit]