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Every Single Day

An insight into hyperthymesia

Imagine what it would be like to remember every single day of your life. Exactly what you did on that day, what you ate, who you saw. Not just the memorable events but the mundane moments too. Imagined it? You've just stepped into the life of a hyperthymesiac.


What is hyperthymesia?

Hyperthymesia is a condition where individuals live with highly superior autobiographical memory (HSAM). They can remember every detail of their lives. Their memory, without the use of any strategy, is mentally categorised and they can pick out whatever details they want.

For example, if you said to a HSAM individual- "what day did Valentines day fall on in 2008?", they would easily be able to tell you. This is just one aspect of their incredible abilities. They can tell you what they had for lunch on a random day or tell you the exact date for random public events.

As of 2021 only 60 people in the entire world have been diagnosed with hyperthymesia.


What causes it?

There are a range of different explanations for what actually causes hyperthymesia- however, due to the small sample of people with it, scientists have not got a clear picture as of yet.

However, some specific biological findings are that:

  • The caudate nucleus, a specific brain area was found to be 7x bigger in hyperthymesiacs than in normal people.

  • Hyperactivity in the amygdala.

  • Increased activity in specific brain areas such as the superior and inferior parietal lobe.


Hyperthymesia can not only enhance people's memories positively but can also have negative effects on their everyday life. As a result of the fact that they can remember everything in such vivid detail, for them, the past can often feel like the present.

This means the emotion that we feel, after experiencing something traumatising or heartbreaking, that fades after time- doesn't for them. Those vivid and upsetting emotions can often still stay with them and they can feel the pain of these experiences like it was just yesterday.


These people just can't forget, imagine having that kind of memory?

If you found this interesting and want to learn more about hyperthymesia, click here.


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