Features

Alyssa Aey, Wadsworth senior, has “superior autobiographical memory”

BY JANAE JOACHIM

Alyssa Aey, a senior at Wadsworth High School, possesses the talent to say what day of the week it was and what she did that day of any given year from 2014 to the present. 

 Alyssa Aey smiles for her senior pictures. Aey has known of her talent since she was in Central Intermediate School. Photo courtesy Alyssa Aey

“I can remember my life and what happened on certain days of it really, really well,” said Aey. 

Aey was able to recall that the day of her senior pictures was Saturday, September 12 of 2020.

Aey realized that she had this talent when she was around eleven years old. She saw a 60 Minutes report on the ability and her mom brought it to her attention that she might have it. 

“If she [her mom] went back a year or so I pretty much could remember just about what day it was,” said Aey. 

That day was April 20, 2014 and just so happened to be Easter Sunday. Aey remembers that she was wearing a navy blue dress with little pink spots on it in the morning and later changed into a Nike shirt that she had gotten as an Easter gift that morning. 

She can recall any day, but like anyone, she has special days that stick out for her. 

“June 19 of that year [2014] when my family went to Cedar Point. It was probably one of the best days I have ever had,” said Aey. 

Alyssa Aey stands with the grizzly bear in the courtyard of Wadsworth Middle School. This was after her performance of her ability at the talent show. Photo courtesy Alyssa Aey

Aey performed this unique talent at her eighth grade talent show. Someone would name a day and she would precede to tell them what day of the week it was and what occurred in her life on that day. 

Aey recalled that this talent show performance was on May 24, 2017. She also remembered that it was a Wednesday.

“People are always asking me, ‘Do you still have that talent?’,” said Aey. 

Scientists studying this talent are calling it “superior autobiographical memory.” However, this kind of memory is fairly new to science.

This type of memorization is not the same as say, memorizing terms for school. Aey expressed her wish that she could memorize things for school as easily as she could recall the past. 

Aey shares this ability with only slightly more than 50 people, one being actress Marilu Henner, who made an appearance in the show 60 Minutes to explain the ability. 

Former football player for the Miami Dolphins, Bob Petrella, also possesses this ability. He, however, is unique because he created his own fantasy basketball team that he remembers stats about in addition to remembering his own life.

This ability could definitely be considered “mind boggling,” and as Aey plans on attending college in the fall of 2021, this talent will stay with her. 

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