Re: The Mind of a Mnemonist

From: Harnad, Stevan (
Date: Fri Nov 10 1995 - 20:47:51 GMT

> From: "Baden, Denise" <>
> Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 16:16:26 GMT
> I have now read "The Mind of a Mnemonist". I could identify with S's
> description of words as conjuring up images and his descriptions of
> certain vowel and consonent sounds. Many words and names are
> onamatapaiec. For example, I once met a bloke called Mark and it struck
> me immediately that he looked like a Colin. It turned out that several
> people that he'd met before, eg at school and university had thought so
> too, and he was generally called Colin. So maybe Stevan is right to say
> that we may all have fleeting shadows of S's ability, but differ in
> that we don't remember it. Although I think it is more likely that it
> is not a question of memory, but that less attention is paid to it as
> the images are a lot less vivid, and actually do not come through at
> all unless attention is actively paid to them.

The two go together, since (except for "implicit" learning and
memory) most of what we remember is what we attend. But remember that
I suspected that if S was examined he might turn out to have some
perceptual anomalies too, not just memory anomalies.

> As a matter of interest, on page 104, the question is posed "what is
> the weight of a brick which weighs 1kg + the weight of half a brick?
> Apparently the answer is not 1.5 kg.

Beats me: Anyone?

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