Sunday, August 19, 2012

Some 2012 papers on hyperthymestic syndrome / HSAM

Aurora K.R. LePort, Aaron T. Mattfeld, Heather Dickinson-Anson, James H. Fallon, Craig E.L. Stark, Frithjof Kruggel, Larry Cahill, James L. McGaugh (2012) Behavioral and neuroanatomical investigation of Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM). Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. Volume 98, Issue 1, July 2012, Pages 78–92.
Received 1 February 2012. Revised 30 April 2012. Accepted 21 May 2012. Available online 28 May 2012.

Funny how there is no mention of any of the collection of terms that this memory gift phenomenon was previously named, even though two of the researchers who wrote this paper were also co-authors of the original 2006 journal paper about the condition. Why are neuroscience researchers renaming this condition, with the effect that the body of literature about the same subject becomes fragmented or partly lost when people try to do searches for papers on the subject?

Brandon A. Ally, Erin P. Hussey & Manus J. Donahue (2012) A case of hyperthymesia: rethinking the role of the amygdala in autobiographical memory. Neurocase. 2012 Apr 23. [Epub ahead of print] 

It looks like the subject in this study is a man given the anonymous name HK. It looks like these are videos about the above most interesting study, featuring a young man named HK who is blind and has cerebral palsy and a short stature. A quote from the video from neuroscientist Dr Brandon Ally:

"His amygdala's twenty percent larger than normal." "His connectivity's also very much more dense, almost ten times more than normal individuals." 

Such increased connectivity sounds similar to one of the brain differences that characterizes synaesthesia, so I'm keen to get a hold of this paper to find out whether this is yet another journal paper about superior autobiographical memory that ignores the question of whether or not it is linked with synesthesia.

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