Bob Petrella – The Man Who Never Forgets


Producer Bob Petrella was diagnosed with hyperthymestia or overdeveloped memory just a few years ago. Hyperthymestia is an extremely rare condition that helps you remember each and every incident that takes place in your life in detail. Television. He can recall almost everything he has done in his life since the age of 5.

If you ask him to remember any day of his life, he can come up with an answer in a heartbeat!

Moreover, the 58 year old from Los Angeles, California remembers most of the days of his own life. In shockingly vivid detail. However, it was only till a few years that Bob’s remarkable abilities became known to scientists, when he put himself up for a study about memory taking place at the University of California.

“We don’t know how it works, and we would like to know how it works,” said Dr. James McGaugh, the founding director of the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. at the University of California, Irvine.

He further added that these people are not learning machines or people with photographic memory. They learn certain things about their lives and don’t forget.

The condition is also known as Super Autobiographical Memory. Moreover, it is discovered in 4 people around the world up till now. Patrella remembers all the conversations of most days from the past. And even the day and date he met a good friend throughout the last 53 years. He first discovered his amazing talent in primary school when he passed every test without even having to revise.

“I remember things best when they interest me, whether that’s sporting events, or historical or political dates, or just good days I’ve had in the past. I can remember between a quarter and half of every month since I was five,” said Petrella.

Similarly, what’s more astonishing is that when he lost his phone, it barely took him a few minutes to recall all the numbers that were stored in his phone and make a new contact book. Patrella remembers the details of every New Year’s Eve since the last 40 years. And his birthdays since the age of 5.

The doctors put his memory to test by asking him 60 questions that only people with extraordinary memory can answer. Patrella got 30 of those 60 questions absolutely correct.

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Dr. Aiman Shahab is a dentist with a bachelor’s degree from Dow University of Health Sciences. She is an experienced freelance writer with a demonstrated history of working in the health industry. Skilled in general dentistry, she is currently working as an associate dentist at a private dental clinic in Karachi, freelance content writer and as a part time science instructor with Little Medical School. She has also been an ambassador for PDC in the past from the year 2016 – 2018, and her responsibilities included acting as a representative and volunteer for PDC with an intention to make the dental community of Pakistan more connected and to work for benefiting the underprivileged. When she’s not working, you’ll either find her reading or aimlessly walking around for the sake of exploring. Her future plans include getting a master’s degree in maxillofacial and oral surgery, settled in a metropolitan city of North America.


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