Marilu Henner discusses new book on memory retention at Warwick’s
By Pat Sherman
Actress and author Marilu Henner was at Warwick’s bookstore May 10 to read from her new book, “Total Memory Makeover: Uncover Your Past, Take Charge of Your Future.”
The actress best known for her role on the TV series “Taxi,” (and more recently, for her portrayal of the “Unsinkable Molly Brown” in the film “Titanic”), is one of only a handful of people diagnosed with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM), a condition in which people can remember vivid details from each day of their lives since early childhood.
“Everyone says to me, I have a terrible memory, but you don’t,” Henner told the audience. “Everyone remembers something exceptionally well. I would call that your primary memory track.
“It could be sports,” Henner said. “Guys can forget their wife’s birthday, their anniversary, but they’ll remember a game from 30 years ago, who won, and what they were drinking.
“I’m all about helping you play to your strengths.”
Henner recalled how her father used to say there are three parts to every event: anticipation, participation and recollection (APR).
“The greatest of these is recollection,” she said. “That’s when everything really gets seared into your brain.
“Every single thing that you have ever been through is on your mental and emotional hard drive and it’s just waiting to be tapped into so that you can bring it into the present and let it inform your future,” Henner said. “Your brain is capable of (storing) as much as the Library of Congress. There’s so much more that we could remember.”
Though one of the first patients diagnosed with HSAM said that it was a burden to have so much detail constantly flooding back to her, Henner said her memory is not a burden.
“It’s so automatic for me,” she said. “It certainly hasn’t kept me from living a full, rich life or having a career or being a mother or a wife — three times,” she quipped.
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