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. Apr-Jun 2018;12(2):101-104.
doi: 10.1590/1980-57642018dn12-020001.

Hyper Memory, Synaesthesia, Savants Luria and Borges Revisited

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Free PMC article

Hyper Memory, Synaesthesia, Savants Luria and Borges Revisited

Luis Fornazzari et al. Dement Neuropsychol. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

In this paper, we investigated two subjects with superior memory, or hyper memory: Solomon Shereshevsky, who was followed clinically for years by A. R. Luria, and Funes the Memorious, a fictional character created by J. L. Borges. The subjects possessed hyper memory, synaesthesia and symptoms of what we now call autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). We will discuss interactions of these characteristics and their possible role in hyper memory. Our study suggests that the hyper memory in our synaesthetes may have been due to their ASD-savant syndrome characteristics. However, this talent was markedly diminished by their severe deficit in categorization, abstraction and metaphorical functions. As investigated by previous studies, we suggest that there is altered connectivity between the medial temporal lobe and its connections to the prefrontal cingulate and amygdala, either due to lack of specific neurons or to a more general neuronal dysfunction.

Neste artigo, investigamos dois sujeitos com memória superior ou hipermemória: Solomon Shereshevsky, que foi seguido clinicamente por anos por A. R. Luria, e Funes o memorioso, um personagem fictício criado por J. L. Borges. Os sujeitos possuem hipermemória, sinestesia e sintomas do que hoje chamamos de transtorno do espectro autista (TEA). Vamos discutir interações dessas características e seu possível papel na hipermemória. Nosso estudo sugere que a hipermemória em nossos sujeitos sinestésicos pode ser devido às suas características de síndrome do TEA-savant. No entanto, esse talento foi acentuadamente diminuído pelo profundo déficit de categorização, abstração e funções metafóricas. Conforme investigado por estudos anteriores, sugerimos que há conectividade alterada entre o lobo temporal medial e suas conexões com o cingulado pré-frontal e amígdala, devido à falta de neurônios específicos ou a uma disfunção neuronal mais geral.

Keywords: Funes the memorious; Solomon Shereshevsky; autistic spectrum disorder; hyper memory; memory; savantism; synaesthesia.

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure: The authors report no conflicts of interest.

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