Meet the woman who recites entire Harry Potter books from MEMORY


Memory is a powerful thing – anyone who has been brought back in time by a certain smell or piece of music can attest to that.

But imagine if your memories took over your whole life?

Brisbane woman Rebecca Sharrock has a rare condition which means her capacity to remember things is greatly increased.

As well as trivial things like dates and long numbers, Rebecca can recall events from long ago in huge detail – and can recite entire books word-for-word without prompting.

While most of us can't remember anything before the agree of three, Rebecca says she recalls her first memory from when she was just 12 days old.

"I remember my mum placing me in the drivers seat of the car and taking a picture of me," Rebecca tells The Daily Mirror of her earliest moment.

“I remember every day since then. Some of them I can’t date exactly because I was too young to understand calendars, but I remember what I did that day, what the weather was like and so on."

Rebecca's condition is known as Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, and it even enables her to recall things like pain and taste.

"For example, I remember falling over when I was three at my grandparents’ house and grazing my left knee. Talking about it now, I’m getting an echo of the sting in my left knee cap."

And if she's eating something she's not a fan of, she can overpower the taste by thinking about her favourite kind of cake – Black Forest gateau.

"It won’t take away hunger but I can re-taste the cherries, chocolate and cream and that takes away the other taste," she explains.

To calm herself from an onslaught of thoughts and memories as a youngster, Rebecca used to recite the Harry Potter series chapter by chapter.

"When she had nightmares as a child, to take her mind off it we'd get her to just start reciting Harry Potter from chapter one," her mum Janet recalls.

Having been diagnosed with autism and OCD as a teen, Rebecca didn't know she had a specific memory condition under Janet saw a TV show about it in 2011.

"I just knew for sure that that was what Becky had too," her mum says.

Now Rebecca uses social media to help reach out to others with HSAM, as well as participating in a long-term study about the condition at at the University of California.

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