What Effect Would TOTALLY Perfect Memory Have?

Martha J. Cichelli mcicheli at astro.ocis.temple.edu
Mon Sep 9 16:43:04 EST 1996


Eric Manshun Choi (emc at madrox) wrote:
: I am in the process of writing a science fiction story in which one of
: the characters has the ability to literally remember EVERYTHING that he
: sees or reads.  For example, if he was walking down the street, he would
: remember how many cracks there were in the sidewalk, the number of cars
: that passed him, the make and color of each car, the license plates on
: the cars, how many people were in each car and what they looked like, etc.

: How would such an ability affect his mind?  Would he be able to cope, or
: would the overload of information drive him insane?

: Any input would be much appreciated.  Thank you very much!

: -- 
: Eric M. Choi                    | Author  of  "From a Stone",   in   the
: University of Toronto           | September issue of SCIENCE FICTION AGE
: Institute for Aerospace Studies | magazine.  Now available at bookstores
: emc at sdr.utias.utoronto.ca       | and newsstands. 



You might want to read the book   The Mind of a Mnemonist  by Luria.  It
describes a real person with a "total" memory.  He also experienced
synesthesia - he remembered words as visual images of objects unrelated 
(in our
usual way of thinking) to the words.  Mostly this ability to remember 
everything - and the inability to forget anything - was a handicap to him.  It
made it difficult to sift out meaningful relationships between things - sort
of a forest and trees problem.

Martha J. Cichelli
Temple University
Psychology Dept.




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