Boy Who Can Recall Every Day of the Past Ten Years

Article excerpt

Byline: Emily Andrews

WEDDINGS and birthdays aside, chances are you would not be able to recall exactly what you were doing on any given date in 2006.

But Aurelien Hayman is different.

Not only can he remember what he did, he can tell you what he was wearing, what he ate, what was in the news and even what the weather was like.

The 20-year-old is one of only a handful of people in the world with hyperthymesia, or highly superior autobiographical memory.

Pick any day from his teenage years and he can recall every detail of it - while most of us will remember no more than 11 events from each year of our life. Information about conversations he had, pro-grammes he watched and even songs he heard are all part of Aurelien's astonishing recall.

While Aurelien describes his early childhood memories as 'vague recollections' like everyone else's, things changed around the age of 11.

He said: 'It's not something that I realised overnight, but when I was 14 I discovered that I was quite good at remembering some things that had happened years before.' Now, when asked about the random date of October 1, 2006, for example, Aurelien remembers it was a cloudy Sunday, he listened to the song When You Were Young by The Killers, and he had asked out a girl but been turned down.

Not only that, but he recalls that on the Saturday he was wearing a blue t-shirt and saw the girl who would later rebuff him in the city centre of his native Cardiff, and that on the Thursday there was a power cut at his home.

Only 20 people in the world have been diagnosed with hyperthyme-sia, and it is believed Aurelien is the only Briton. His skill is not shared by his father Martyn, an architect, his French mother Dany, or his sister. …