An interview with the woman who can’t forget


The WBUR/NPR programme On Point has a very interesting interview with Jill Price (right), a 42-year-old woman from Los Angeles who has a “non-stop, uncontrollable and automatic” episodic memory.

Known in the scientific literature as A.J., Price is the first documented case of hyperthymestic syndrome, a condition in which autobiographical memories cannot be forgotten. Consequently, Price recalls every miniscule detail of her life since the age of 14, “like a movie” which is played over and over again on a daily basis.

Since Price’s case was first reported in 2006, a handful of people have come forward claiming to have hyperthymesia, but so far the condition has been confirmed in only two others: Brad Williams from Wisconsin and Rick Baron from Ohio.

One of the guests on the WBUR/NPR programme is Larry Cahill, an associate professor of neurology and behaviour at the University of California, Irvine, who co-authored the 2006 paper in which Price’s case was first reported.

(Jill Price’s memoir, The Woman Who Can’t Forget, which was written with Bart Davis, was published earlier this month; the photograph of Price comes from this USA Today story.)



3 thoughts on “An interview with the woman who can’t forget

  1. There are a lot of things in life that I am aware have happened but I can’t actually remember them happening, and am thankful for that. I can’t imagine living with such a condition.
    It’s interesting that the only people with this condition they’ve discovered so far are in the U.S. but maybe they haven’t looked elsewhere yet.

  2. Many of the details of events that occurred on a particluar day have been documented, e.g. in news reports, so the accuracy of the memories can be verified.

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