Do you remember? Autobiographical memory

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uisart
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11 Jun 2010, 12:22 am

I'm reading now: "You might be an aspie if..." a thread who started in 2005, and still going on.

In it; everybody feels the impulse to write his/her own experiences tips (in a very funny way) which indicate the presence of Asperger syndrome.

The issue is that nobody, at any Asperger forum that I had read until now: had said anything about bad autobiographical memory.

In some Asperger article (is in spanish, sorry) I did read when I was knowing about Asperger: I found one of my greatest symptoms. But not in other place.

I mean; almost everybody who deal with me know more about my life experience than my self.

About 90% of times that somebody ask me: do you remember when? My answer is: No, I don't remember.

How are you about this feature?



Sparrowrose
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11 Jun 2010, 1:09 am

I'm wondering if the autobiographical memory seems impaired because we focus more on things and places than people. When people ask for autobiographical memories, they want to know about our memories of other people and how we interacted with them. But for many people with asperger's, other people are not our primary focus. I know that I am focused on what is in my books and what is on my computer and the trees and squirrels I see and the buildings I experience - the buildings I live in, go to class in, buy food in, go to church in.

I read an essay in an anthology of essays about university life by people with asperger's (Aquamarine Blue 5) and one author was talking about returning to his campus after he graduated and how other people would return and go out to dinner with the faculty or meet up with old friends but when he returned to visit he wanted to see the buildings because that is what had been most important to him when he was a student there. He talked about how the people come and go but the buildings have more permanence and gave him more comfort because he knew those "old friends" would be waiting for him any time he returned to visit while the people had not been very important in his life and many would be someplace else when he came back.

I need to read the article you linked to more carefully, but on a quick glance it seemed the author was relating poor autobiographical memory to lack of "mirada mental" or ability to read things in people eyes and poor ability to relate to other humans. If the author is considering autobiographical memory to just be the memory of people and interactions with them, of course many of us will have a lower autobiographical memory than others. But if the author asked about buildings and toys and tools and things like that, he might see a very different picture of what our memories are like.


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nara44
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11 Jun 2010, 1:33 am

uisart wrote:
I'm reading now: "You might be an aspie if..." a thread who started in 2005, and still going on.

In it; everybody feels the impulse to write his/her own experiences tips (in a very funny way) which indicate the presence of Asperger syndrome.

The issue is that nobody, at any Asperger forum that I had read until now: had said anything about bad autobiographical memory.


How are you about this feature?


I know what u talk about all too well,Was obsessed with this mysterious "fault" of mine for many years and still can't come up with a good explanation as to why is that,
It's really strange considering that at i'm considered very good at sensing and telling other ppl stories,
Perhaps i can sense other ppl stories but can't sense mine because i don't have a linear autobiography as such but many "biographies" all telling different and sometimes even conflicting or contradicting stories,
This theory also makes sense because it links well with my other autistics attributes as "strange" sense of time and space and like many other aspies i do have expectational memory but it is optical so it doesn't goes well with the certain linearity ppl tend to expect,
in a way i don't sense time as a line but as a star so there is no linear meaning to my biography,
My present links or express my past as hyper-story image or an hologram so any one who "knows" me can tell my bio better than me but that because he sees only his take on my life/



skysaw
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11 Jun 2010, 4:21 am

uisart, I recently came across a paper suggesting autobiographical memory might be impaired in people with AS. Perhaps this is the same one that you read in Spanish?
Anyway, here's a link:
http://www.gold.ac.uk/media/Crane,%20Go ... -goals.pdf



Sparrowrose
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11 Jun 2010, 4:57 am

skysaw wrote:
uisart, I recently came across a paper suggesting autobiographical memory might be impaired in people with AS. Perhaps this is the same one that you read in Spanish?
Anyway, here's a link:
http://www.gold.ac.uk/media/Crane,%20Go ... -goals.pdf


Different paper, different authors. The second paper (the one you link to) doesn't even cite the first paper. Very interesting stuff. Thanks for the link; I'm looking forward to reading it.


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11 Jun 2010, 5:52 am

I know I could barely recall my life story until I recently digitized my collection of original music recordings that I've been creating since 1967. Luckily I'd put the recording dates on most of the tracks, so I was able to reconstruct a lot of my history using that as a framework.....hearing the music helped to trigger a lot of memories. Also I kept a diary for a long time, so I got a lot of info out of that as well. So I wrote it all down, and I still have trouble recalling it unless I look at what I've written.



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11 Jun 2010, 6:46 am

I remember everything that's happened to me, since I was 2. A lot of good stuff, and a lot of bad stuff, as well.


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OzAspi
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11 Jun 2010, 6:03 pm

Sparrowrose wrote:
I'm wondering if the autobiographical memory seems impaired because we focus more on things and places than people. When people ask for autobiographical memories, they want to know about our memories of other people and how we interacted with them. But for many people with asperger's, other people are not our primary focus. I know that I am focused on what is in my books and what is on my computer and the trees and squirrels I see and the buildings I experience - the buildings I live in, go to class in, buy food in, go to church in.

I read an essay in an anthology of essays about university life by people with asperger's (Aquamarine Blue 5) and one author was talking about returning to his campus after he graduated and how other people would return and go out to dinner with the faculty or meet up with old friends but when he returned to visit he wanted to see the buildings because that is what had been most important to him when he was a student there. He talked about how the people come and go but the buildings have more permanence and gave him more comfort because he knew those "old friends" would be waiting for him any time he returned to visit while the people had not been very important in his life and many would be someplace else when he came back.

I need to read the article you linked to more carefully, but on a quick glance it seemed the author was relating poor autobiographical memory to lack of "mirada mental" or ability to read things in people eyes and poor ability to relate to other humans. If the author is considering autobiographical memory to just be the memory of people and interactions with them, of course many of us will have a lower autobiographical memory than others. But if the author asked about buildings and toys and tools and things like that, he might see a very different picture of what our memories are like.


That is so true about buildings. Whenever I think about my high school days my recollections are always about stairs and hallways and metal poles. I suppose they were my friends more than the people. They didn't ridicule or judge. They simply existed and would always be there for me.



rmctagg09
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11 Jun 2010, 6:49 pm

I don't seem to have that problem, as I can remember things that happened years ago as if it were last week.



uisart
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12 Jun 2010, 8:24 am

Thank you for your replies.

My doubt was answered. It was because nobody mentioned before like a symptom of AS but the article I was mentioned.

Maybe this article and the another posted by skysaw are mistaken since they are trying to explain the lack of social skills and lack of goals based in this condition. But this condition is not so generalized (God thanks) as to take it as the cause.

It is hard to know how bad is my memory. At school I almost did not spend time studying at home: I was good enough to learn at classroom, and remember it learned until examination time. I am pretty good answering in tv shows like jeopardy. I know lots of song lyrics, I think; above the average. But I can't say the same abot my own life. I loose so many important details about the birth of my childs for example, or the goods and the bads spent together with my wife. Things obviously important to me.

It has a very sad side.



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12 Jun 2010, 10:42 am

I have autobiographical memory too. I remember many things since I was a baby. People often tell me that I lie.
I never studied at home, everything was easy and came quickly to my head.
I remember songs too.


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uisart
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12 Jun 2010, 12:43 pm

valoyossa wrote:
I remember many things since I was a baby. People often tell me that I lie.

This is to I what I refer. My first memories are from when I was almost 5 years old. :(



capriwim
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12 Jun 2010, 1:05 pm

I have incredibly detailed autobiographical memory, remembering things from the age of 18 months onwards. Sometimes people don't believe I remember something, because they don't remember it, but I give more and more details and suddenly something clicks in their mind and they remember it.

I don't know how much of this is specifically related to Aspergers, and how much is just about everyone being different. I know plenty of NTs who barely remember any of their childhood. I also know NTs who have detailed memories. I think memories are formed by what you focus on, and what is important to you, and everyone focuses on different things.


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Valoyossa
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12 Jun 2010, 1:10 pm

That's normal. Most people don't remember first years. Some of them don't remember even their first years in school.

When I was younger, I thought that everybody has as good memory as me and I used to say in 1990 there was... and people didn't believe me.
I don't remember people, faces and relations. I remember names, if I have seen them, rooms, clothes, buildings, colours... but not people.


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