We go from the boy who can't sleep to the woman who can't forget. Here's the story of AJ, an extraordinary 40-year-old married woman who remembers everything (and not just all the bad things her husband did!):
McGaugh and fellow UCI researchers Larry Cahill and Elizabeth Parker have been studying the extraordinary case of a person who has "nonstop, uncontrollable and automatic" memory of her personal history and countless public events.
If you randomly pick a date from the past 25 years and ask her about it, she'll usually provide elaborate, verifiable details about what happened to her that day and if there were any significant news events on topics that interested her. She usually also recalls what day of the week it was and what the weather was like.
The 40-year-old woman, who was given the code name AJ to protect her privacy, is so unusual that UCI coined a name for her condition in a recent issue of the journal Neurocase: hyperthymestic syndrome.
Gary Robbins of The OC Register has the interview with Dr. Jim McGaugh, who has been studying AJ for the past 6 years: Link
Illustration: Robert Zavala / The Orange County Register