Jill Price (née Rosenberg, born December 30, 1965) is an American woman, from Southern California, who has been diagnosed with hyperthymesia. She was the first person to receive such a diagnosis, and it was her case that inspired research into hyperthymesia. She has co-authored a book on the subject.
Price is able to recite details of every day of her life from the time when she was fourteen years old. She can recall various obscure moments of her life in great detail. 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. Originally anonymised as "AJ", Price was described as being able to 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." The first report on the study of her brain was published in 2006. In 2008, with Bart Davis, she wrote the book The Woman Who Can't Forget, explaining her life with the condition. The book has allowed her popularity to soar internationally, leading to a demand in public appearances.
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. Price has since reacted angrily to such claims and McGaugh has also expressed skepticism for such an explanation. 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.
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.
- Marcus, Gary (March 23, 2009). "Total Recall: The Woman Who Can't Forget". Wired. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
- Gray, Keturah; Escherich, Katie ''It Makes Me Crazy: Woman Can't Forget', ABC News May 9, 2008
- Elias, Marilyn (May 6, 2008). "Decades of details flood woman with unmatched memory". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
- Parker et, Elizabeth; Cahill, Larry; McGaugh, James (2006). "A Case of Unusual Autobiographical Remembering". Neurocase. 12 (1): 35–49. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.502.8669. doi:10.1080/13554790500473680. PMID 16517514.
- "Total recall: the people who never forget". the Guardian. 2017-02-08. Retrieved 2021-07-12.
- Shafy, Samiha (2008-11-21). "An Infinite Loop in the Brain". The Science of Memory. Spiegel Online. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- The Boy Who Can't Forget UK, channel4.com, first broadcast 25 September 2012
- Simner, Julia; Mayo, Neil; Spiller, Mary Jane (2009). "A foundation for savantism? Visuo-spatial synaesthetes present with cognitive benefits" (PDF). Cortex. 45 (10): 1246–60. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2009.07.007. PMID 19665699.