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Hyperthymesia - Printable Version

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Hyperthymesia - FrodoGoofball - 04-20-2015

People with a rare medical condition called Hyperthymesia (also known as hyperthymestic syndrome, highly superior autobiographical memory, and HSAM) have some remarkable mental abilities. Give them an event in their lives and they'll tell you the year, month, date, and day of the week and tell you about their day as if they were telling you about what they did today.

Bob Petrella can tell you the name of every player and describe every game ever played by a fictional basketball team he created when he was 13, as if he had witnessed it firsthand. Six months later, he was quizzed by a psychiatrist who determined Petrella wasn't just making it up. He has basically memorized a novel he wrote in his head.

It occurs to me that this may represent a small demonstration of what a nearbaseline or superior brain might be capable of.

RE: Hyperthymesia - PortalHunter - 04-20-2015

Haven't heard of Bob before. Or maybe I forgot Tongue

I've read around the EG that sophonts that have this kind of mental mod can and prefer to switch the ability on and off to avoid unnecessary amounts of trivia and clutter.

RE: Hyperthymesia - stevebowers - 04-20-2015

Often this sort of memory would be held in an artificial memory implant, or accessed in some other less intrusive way. But some, or many, nearbaselines could be modified biologically so that they could retain memories using hyperthymesia, thus reducing their reliance on external memory stores. By the Current Era (10,000 AT) most artificial implants would be so well integrated that this sort of dichotomy wouldn't normally arise.

RE: Hyperthymesia - Rynn - 04-20-2015

One reason a sophont might prefer modifying their brain over using an implant is that it would free up implant space for other things, not necessarily data but more processors or trancievers.

RE: Hyperthymesia - JohnnyYesterday - 04-22-2015

That doesn't really make sense to me, if a sophont is already going with artificial implants.

If they're all-biological for whatever reason, fine, but whatever the data storage density that neural connections have, it physically cannot be anywhere near what molecular tape could achieve.

RE: Hyperthymesia - Rynn - 04-22-2015

Potentially a radical redesign of the brain could turn it into biological computrionium with storage that rivals that of inorganic (but probably with slower processing and memory access). Of course with the more advanced OA tech the distinction between biology and non-biology gets quite blurry.