Seen At 11: Rare Mental Condition Gives Actress Henner Super-Human Memory
NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Most people are able to recall big moments in their lives, but a select few are able to recall minute details of almost every day.
Marilu Henner recently explained to CBS 2′s Katie McGee how her Highly Superior Auto-Biographical Memory, or H-SAM, has allowed her to hold onto even the most minor of moments.
“You say April 3, 1992 and all of a sudden the whole week starts presenting itself to me. That was a Friday and I was in New York, actually. Early that week I had won $1,760 at a winner-take-all Academy Awards pool. It was a clean sweep of the Oscars, ‘Silence Of The Lambs’, Jodie Foster,” Henner said.
At least a dozen people in the United States have been diagnosed with H-SAM.
“Every single thing that you have ever done is on your hard drive,” she explained.
Henner’s skill came naturally, but she told CBS 2 that there are ways that everybody can drastically improve their memory. By revisiting experiences and events in your life, you can train your brain, she said.
“Recalling memories is kind of like karaoke. You know the first one is hard, then you can’t get the microphone away from people. You start opening up those memories, and it’s just a floodgate opens,” said Henner.
Henner suggested to start by identifying what she calls a “dominant track.”
“Your track is something you remember exceptionally well. It’s probably something you love to talk about; people have a travel track, a sports track, and relationship track,” she said.
Once a track has been identified simple things like music, photographs, smells and tastes can be used to trigger memories of past events.
“Every once in a while take a mental snap shot. Where am I? Pay attention, close your eyes, and listen to what’s going on around you. At night, when you’re brushing your teeth, sort of mentally go through your day,” Henner instructed.
Henner also suggested adding what she calls “juice” to your day, because memory is tied to adrenaline.
“You can like, do the laundry, do the kitty litter, go to the dentist. Or, you could DO THE LAUNDRY! Take pride in it,” she said.
Henner said she believes that by improving your memory you can live a more conscious life.
So how is your memory? Let us know in our comments section below…