Monday, 3 September 2007

FREAKY FACTS... stuff to remember

1) If you’re one of those people who doesn’t recognise people in the street or can’t remember faces, there may be a scientific reason why. It’s possible that you suffer from what scientists call developmental prosopagnosia, or face blindness.
2) This could be a casino owner’s nightmare – a person who can memorise the order of an entire pack of freshly shuffled cards in less than 30 seconds. That’s what Ben Pridmore did at this year’s United Kingdom Memory Championships. He managed the feat in 26.28 seconds, beating the previous world record of 31.16 seconds.
3) The marathon version of the card-pack trick is even more mind boggling. In 2002, eight-times world memory champion Dominic O’Brien recalled 54 inter-shuffled decks of playing cards after only looking each of the 2808 cards once. But the Englishman did make eight mistakes, four of which he corrected himself after being told he was wrong.
4) A woman in her 40s is being studied by neurobiologists in California because of her near-perfect ability to recall nearly every detail in her life from when she was 18 months old. She can even remember things like the dates of every Easter going back to 1980 and what she did on those days.
5) Neurobiology scientists at Boston University believe they are close to cracking the memory code by reading the minds of mice. But unravelling human memory is some way off, but will be possible, if or when, non-invasive and highly sensitive monitoring instruments are developed.

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