Whether you’re eight years old or 80, everyone has certain basic types of memory. There is short-term, long-term, and even skill and fact-based forms of recollection, just for starters. But think about it—can you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing on March 14th, 2007? Most people have no clue. If you have highly superior autobiographical memory (HSAM), however, you’re likely to remember practically everything about that day.
Sounds crazy, right? But the evidence is solid. Studies show that while most people will forget a certain event after just one week, HSAM participants can recall it for over a decade. Borrow these habits of people with an impressive memory, and you could improve your own retention.
Only around 60 people in the world have been diagnosed with HSAM so far, Curiosity reports. Learn about one of those 60 people, Markie Pasternak, the youngest person ever with this condition.
Unfortunately, researchers still don’t understand exactly what gives certain people this amazing power. Here’s what they do know, though: While people with HSAM recall memories with the same parts of their brain as everyone else, brain scans have revealed differences in the structure of areas linked to their autobiographical memory creation. People with HSAM also tend to obsessively collect, clean, or organize things.
Let’s face it—having a perfect memory sounds pretty great. But if you’re not blessed with a foolproof recall, you can always train like a memory champion with these pro tricks to getting a superhuman memory.