The Boy Who Can Remember Every Single Detail Of His Life

24/09/2012 13:20 | Updated 22 May 2015
Student who can remember everything reveals all for Channel 4 documentarySWNS

Can you remember what happened on any given date years ago? What the weather was like? What you ate? What TV programmes you watched and who you talked to that day? Aurelien Hayman can.

Aurelien, 20, from Cardiff has 'hyperthymesia' - a condition which enables him to recall every single detail of his life, thanks to his superior powers of autobiographical recall.

He says that although his early childhood memories were originally 'vague recollections' like everyone else's, things changed for him when he was a young adolescent.

Speaking to Channel 4 documentary makers, Aurelien revealed that he discovered at the age of 14 that he was 'quite good at remembering some things that had happened years before'.

Only 20 other people in the world have been diagnosed with hyperthymesia, and Aurelien is thought to be the only Briton with the amazing power.


Despite his immense capacity for remembering, he says his recall prowess does not help him in his day to day life as a student studying English literature at Durham University.

"There's no method or technique to it. I'm not aware that my memories are being coded," he said, "It's like being able to access something in a filing cabinet very quickly. It's like the dates have pictures. It's a very visual process – there's a sequence of images."

"I have quite a good memory generally but, because what I have is a good autobiographical memory, I don't think it can really help with an academic piece of work at university."

Jill Price, the first person found to have the condition, has said that her memory had 'ruled' her life as she was forced to relive decisions over and over again.

"There are a lot of complex emotions going along with not being able to forget," she said.

Aurelien will be the subject of a Channel 4 documentary, The Boy Who Can't Forget, which airs tomorrow (Tuesday) evening at 9pm.

Would you want Aurelien's memory?


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