Proof of the Adult Photographic Memory Hiding in the Shadows of Autism
Proof of the Adult Photographic Memory
Hiding in the Shadows of Autism
Insights from a different world:
· Do You have a Photographic Memory?
· Do you Know how to Manage your Brain?
· Is you Mind Clear for Decision Making?
The following is a television description of documentary content I am editorializing:
The series exploring remarkable tales of human experience continues this week with the story of Flo and Kay, the world’s only female autistic savant twins. Savantism is a rare condition in which sufferers of developmental disorders, often autism, are capable of acts of genius that far outstrip their expected levels of ability. In Flo and Kay’s case, they each have extraordinary memories for facts and dates. Through interviews with several medical professionals, Extraordinary People: The Rainman Twins attempts to expose the truth behind this oft-misunderstood condition. Describing themselves as “human computers”, Flo and Kay can access their memories and make calculations more efficiently than most people.
It was refreshing to see such a unique documentary. I would love to someday have the opportunity to compare my notes and observations of the documentary to the case study notes the medical professionals have. The twins have been under observation for 15 years. The documentary would have been less than two hours long. Obviously, many things would need to be skipped over to consolidate that much material.
My observations are based on important information the documentary revealed. By cross comparison to some other autistic studies I have perused, there are certain trends, patterns, and repetitious themes that I have observed, that have also appeared in this documentary. So, the following editorial, and the conclusions made, are not without some level of justification. Please don’t vilify me if I am not 100% correct. 100% of the information was not available.
A recent documentary of Twin Autistic Savants has given us a wonderful glimpse into their lives. The “human computers”, Flo and Kay, can access their memories and make calculations more efficiently than most people. (Most people meaning about 98% of all people.) Even more meaningful, it gives us a glimpse into ourselves and our potential, without all the inherent distractions of the world we live in and the distorted image it creates.
These 2 sisters are referred to as the ‘Rainman’ Twins – from their ability to calculate various time relationships and events, such as time, date, day, weather, who was present, what they said (exactly) what they ordered or had for a meal, minute details of comments on the food, how much was eaten, etc. They can remember all the songs, verbatim, on any album they have ever heard. This uncanny ability has been heavily documented for the last 15 years of their life by a UK Reporter. (Applause for such a commendable act for following not one, but two peoples lives for 15 incredible years!)
Some interesting things about the twins being autistic; they had a set routine with a very limited amount of change, or outside influence to change. Changes had devastating effects on them. Likewise, this resulted in them not having much input outside of what they were accustomed to, nor did they need to make many decisions each day.
In comparison, the average person has many decisions to make each day. Studies have been done that confirms clinical depression is quite often a symptom of having too many decisions to make each day. Just to select a single cheese or deli meat to buy, we have a selection of more than 10 in each category. If you take the time to realize how many decisions you make each day, the number is staggering. Eventually, our ‘system’ of decision making breaks down, leading to depression.
As an example, the decision of choices between cheeses may start with the amount of money you may need to spend to get the cheese you want verses another cheese that is only passable. What about the quantity involved – any on sale pricing? What if they didn’t have the cheese you wanted to buy in the first place, and you need to select another? Is it any wonder why people don’t want to leave their home? It just becomes all too hard. A society of xenophobes!
Back to the Twins; when you don’t need to make all those decisions each day, your thinking process doesn’t become so clouded.
Now I have seen both sides of the following argument. It’s nice to finally see physical proof – the “Smoking Gun” to answer the age old question; Do memories fade over time and aging, or is the brain this highly dynamic structure that keeps our memories intact exactly as they were?
This ONE question has been so hotly debated with regards to the Photographic Memory we are born with. Does it really carry over all the clear memories of our past? Even though, every seven years, every cell in our body is replaced and we are literally a ‘new’ person every seven years, that argument would suggest we could only carry the memories that we had for up to seven years. I think we ALL know that one is not true.
Another way it has been looked at is the amount of brain cells, interactions, patterns of interaction, the dying of synapses that is not heavily used, to leave unattended gaps where there used to be connections. And again, if that were true, we again would not be able to remember details many years later with detail. But again, that’s not true.
Well then, the argument continues, it must be the combination of things that instigate breakdown of the brain cells, less oxygen to the brain, pollutants, drugs, alcohol consumption, all these things that destroy brain cells. Well, finally something logical, right? Instead of a focused argument, let’s use a hand-grenade to meet our objective – to win the argument at all costs.
But ENTER STAGE RIGHT not just 1, but 2 autistic savants, AND they are identical twins, and they have virtually all the same dynamics and parameters by which they live. They can easily finish each others sentences on memories that happened many years before. Their memories are that unbelievably clear, because they don’t have distractions!
What do I mean when I say they don’t have distractions? I am saying that the amount of distractions they have each day is minimal. Only big distractions, such as a death of someone close to them, or shifting house, causes them to be distracted from their routine. In an easier way to look at it, they have remained clear-minded, not muddled. And they are HAPPY!
They will never truly be unhappy for long, because they will never suffer lengthy bouts of depression – because they are not expected to make the number of decisions that you or I make each day. Statistics show that when we have more than 7 things to choose from, our brain goes into overload. How many different cheeses? 100, even 200 or more?
Let us re-engage the age old argument again about our memories and the breakdown of our brain cells with age. The “Rainman Twins” are NOT young. If that argument is an absolute, then the twins should show some sign of that breakdown. But, they don’t! Not at all! This is the one clear example that puts that argument to bed, 6 feet under, with the gravestone on top! The “Smoking Gun”!
If our memories could not be kept forever in a “dynamic” brain structure that reorganizes the information as other pathways are made redundant, then these two autistic savant twins could not do what they easily show everyone what they CAN do, without hesitation.
Do we have the ability to retain the memory of our whole life, with detail? YES!
But why can they easily show it and most of us cannot? Because we are the ones that are muddled, we are the confused ones, we are the ones that have mistreated, abused, and disorganized ourselves. We are the ones that need clarity!
What can we do to reclaim our memory?
What can we do to stimulate the building of new physical memory?
What can we do to strengthen the neural connections to both new and old memories?
What can we do to improve our memory overall?
What can we do to clean out the cobwebs?
What can we do to gain clarity?
What can we do to clear out old obsolete thoughts that cloud our mind?
What can we do to make decisions effectively?
What can we do to make our brain stronger and more resilient?
Mental Photography !!!
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