The Boy Who Can’t For­get

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Fri­day, 7.30pm, National Ge­o­graphic If I asked you what you did on Au­gust 30, 2004, would you re­mem­ber? Pre­sum­ing you are more than nine years old, would you re­mem­ber the day of the week? What the weather was like? What you wore in the morn­ing? If the an­swer is ‘‘ no’’ or ‘‘ you must be jok­ing’’, you are prob­a­bly not in pos­ses­sion of the kind of mem­ory rare in­di­vid­u­als, such as those pro­filed in this doc­u­men­tary, ap­pear to have. Welsh univer­sity stu­dent Aure­lien Hay­man is the boy of the ti­tle. He ‘‘ suf­fers’’ from hyper­thymesia, or highly su­pe­rior au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal mem­ory. The cheer­ful 20-year-old is one of only a hand­ful of peo­ple in the world with the con­di­tion. But when the fo­cus shifts to Los An­ge­les, where 46-year-old Jill Price has been liv­ing with hyper­thymesia for much longer, the har­row­ing in­abil­ity to for­get the emo­tions that go along with the re­mem­bered in­for­ma­tion presents as pathol­ogy. A fas­ci­nat­ing ex­cur­sion into cut­ting-edge neu­ro­science.

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