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kensei
08-31-2011, 01:19 PM
I don't expect this to go very far, but there is a crime drama about to premiere on CBS television called "Unforgettable" about a female detective who has the mental ability to remember literally every detail of everything she has ever experienced, basically a perfect photographic memory. Advertisements for the show describe how this condition is called hyperthymesia, and how only a very tiny percentage of people have it. A little quick online searching establishes that this actually is a real condition. So the question is- with George Hutchinson's uncannily concise description of Astrakan Man, could he possibly have been one of the very rare people who posess hyperthymesia? I know, probably not. It's just food for thought that there is actually such a condition.

bolo
08-31-2011, 01:41 PM
kensei,

while Hutch's A-Man description was very detailed, some of the other statements were not, I'm thinking of the Romford and walking-around-on-the-streets bits. As far as I know, hyperthymesia is an automatic process and people who posess it are unable to be selective about the amount of information they memorize. This poses the question as to why Hutch could describe A-Man down to the horseshoe pin but was vague in other aspects.

Regards,

Boris

Lechmere
08-31-2011, 02:07 PM
The simple answer to that is that the A-man description was reported in a detailed manner as the A-man was regarded as a potential suspect and was therefore of interest to be reported on in detail. The road conditions, flora and fawned experienced by Hutchinson on the way back from Romford were not.
We would sensibly presume that he actually verbally told the police more than appears in any report.

Phil H
08-31-2011, 02:40 PM
Astrakhan man's description is undermined by the unlikely nature of some of the detail - the spats, the ostentation and the fact that it is difficult to focus on a man's boot-buttons and eyelashes at one and the same moment.

The level of detail provided, in my view, is because it was made up - possibly from observation of a shop dummy - not real.

Phil

Lechmere
08-31-2011, 02:44 PM
I tend to agree but I don't think he needed to use a shop window dummy as an aide-mémoire.

kensei
08-31-2011, 02:55 PM
Astrakhan man's description is undermined by the unlikely nature of some of the detail - the spats, the ostentation and the fact that it is difficult to focus on a man's boot-buttons and eyelashes at one and the same moment.

The level of detail provided, in my view, is because it was made up - possibly from observation of a shop dummy - not real.

Phil

Just playing devil's advocate here, for the sake of argument- it's my understanding of hyperthymesia that it takes a mental photograph of events that is forever imprinted on the brain. I would assume that looking someone up and down would then produce a sort of permanent video clip that would record the boot buttons and eyelashes along with everything else. Admittedly though, I just had this occur to me when I heard about the tv show and I think it's highly unlikely. Officially I have no firm opinion on Hutchinson one way or another.

lynn cates
08-31-2011, 02:56 PM
Hello Kensei. I think Toppy, er Hutch, missed one important detail--he mistook an Irish Harp pin for a horseshoe. So perhaps his memory and recall were not as precise as we imagine?

Cheers.
LC