Summary of “Total Recall: The People Who Never Forget”

The HSAM subjects turned out to be far better than people with average memories at recalling long-past autobiographical data; in memories that could be verified, they were correct 87% of the time.
Significantly, research shows that people with average memories are bad at temporally placing remembered events – we don’t have a sense of whether that thing happened two weeks ago or two months ago.
Plenty of people rehearse their memories and don’t have HSAM, and plenty of people with OCD don’t have incredible recall of their autobiographical memories.
Despite their amazing recall there is one way that HSAM subjects are just like everyone else – they are just as prone to memory “Distortions”, the editing, assumptions, conflation of time, and other discrepancies that are part and parcel of making memories.
In a study published in 2013, Dr Lawrence Patihis, a memory researcher at the University of Southern Mississippi working with scientists at UCI, asked 20 HSAM subjects and 38 people with standard memories to participate in a series of tests designed to assess their susceptibility to false memories.
When people with average memory recall an experience, it is formed not only by what they think happened and how they felt at the time, but by what they know and feel now.
First, the initial process of encoding memories – that is, when the brain makes an experience into a memory, translating elements of that experience into a network of neurons and synaptic connections – seems no different for people with HSAM than for the rest of us.
For all the terrible things that people with HSAM can never forget, there are also wonderful memories.

The orginal article.