Monday, March 19, 2012

Super Recognition

I just finished watching 60 Minutes from last night.  I had it recorded.  I wanted to watch it because of the story on Elon Musk and SpaceX.  I finished watching the entire episode because the thing about people who have face blindness was pretty interesting.  Of course they also brought up a few people with super recognition.  They provided the test in the video above. 

Sometimes I hate watching 60 Minutes, when they do these things on super memory I always end up discovering just how much more freaky my brain really is.  I took the test and passed it, twice I got it before the girl in the video.  I did miss a couple because I didn't know what the person looked like to begin with.  I guess I wasn't surprised, quite often when watching TV I will pick someone obscure out of a show and connect them with something I saw them in before...sometimes years and years before.   I can do the same thing with people on the street.

I don't know why my brain is different than most people's.  I find that sometimes these things make others so uncomfortable.  Especially when you can recognize their face or voice, or can relate a conversation nearly verbatim that you had as much as years before hand.  People think you're a little too interested in them when in fact you're not.  Plus people constantly accuse me of always having to be right or being a know it all.  I can't help it, it's just the way my brain works.  My long term memory retention is horrifying.   I do have days when my short term memory is terrible though.  Go figure.  There are certain gaps however, an occasional little thing that I cannot retain no matter what.  I have to ask R every single time what my cell phone number is and I have asked my Mother about 50 times what my Grandmother passed away from.  I finally had to write those down.  And yet the unimportant minutiae I can remember is ridiculous.

I don't know if the brain has a capacity limit, but sometimes I worry that I will hit it.  I suppose that's an odd thing to worry about it...but if you were me you might worry over it too.  You simply cannot fathom all the useless things floating around up there.

A while back a friend of mine was concerned about her grandson who has started displaying a high genius level IQ.  She asked me why it is that the more intelligent a person is, the less social skills they have.  I explained that because the smarter you are the closer you are to being autistic.  She asked me how I managed to be so open and friendly.  I explained to her that it's a daily struggle for me, and I have had to work at it so hard.  I could easily become a hermit and just be lost in my own thoughts.  In fact I can turn that corner and hyper focus so hard on something that a friend once urged me to get tested for OCD.  I did get tested, and it came back negative.  The fact remains that I can focus on something hard enough to make myself physically sick in the form of a brutal migraine and/or a stomach ache.  I can be so consumed with something that I forget to eat and sleep.  I have to eventually mentally slap myself out of it, if R doesn't come to my rescue.

So when you judge me sometimes for my posts when I sound pretentious or pompous, try to remember that I am this way...and I would give anything in the world to just be like everyone else.  When I get upset and start sobbing like an idiot over being different, R always assures me it's a gift, but I can assure you that it doesn't feel like one so much of the time.   I never mean to sound that way.  I simply don't know the parameters of anyone else's knowledge or memory base, and I tend to assume that you know or remember what I know or remember.  I have embraced my surface eccentricities over the years, but embracing the fact that my cerebral function is different than most people on the planet is something I haven't been able to master yet.

1 comment:

Katy Cameron said...

Geez, I thought I was the only nut that did that with characters on TV programs! I used to run 2 big regattas here every year, and every competitor had to come and see me to register for their event. I prided myself on knowing who they were before they told me, until someone said it freaked them out a bit. Huh. Who knew?!

And lets not go there about always being right, but I can vividly remember an argument with my dad in pre internet days when he eventually said, 'Well why do you always have to be right?!' To which I replied, 'Well why do you?!' He didn't have an answer to that...

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