Cityvisitor blog

Don’t try this at home

A fascinating story I read this week should definitely come with a health warning: don’t try this at home. A woman has told her story online of how she developed amazing mental abilities and memory following a skiing accident.

After bumping her head and losing consciousness in a ski fall, the woman, who has not been named, became able to remember massive amounts of detail.

Her anonymous article in women’s website xojane said: “I could remember everywhere, like flicking through the pages of a book. Every place I had ever been, but specifically the buildings.

“I’m definitely, constantly mulling over the idea of quitting (my job) and going into drafting and design. At least I know I’d be good at it!”

The woman was eventually diagnosed as having developed savant syndrome – one of only about 50 people in the world.

De Montfort University lecturer David Hiles says the syndrome can mean superior memory, lightening calculation abilities, musical, artistic or language ability, adding: “Savant syndrome is exceedingly rare, but a remarkable condition.

“The skills can appear suddenly, without explanation, and have been reported as sometimes disappearing just as suddenly.”

This really is a captivating story but I feel I must follow it up with a responsible warning. Please don’t consider being a bit more daring on the ski slopes in the hope of developing a magnificent memory: this condition is obviously extremely rare and skiing can be very dangerous, so take care out there.

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