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Marilu Henner + Suparna Rajaram

Total Recall

Saturday, April 28, 2012
3:00 PM–4:30 PM

Presented in association with Urban Zen
In 2010, millions of viewers tuned in to an episode of 60 Minutes which featured Marilu as someone with Superior Autobiographical Memory-an uncanny ability to recall details of every day of her life-a talent known to be shared by only six other people in the world. Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” In her latest book Total Memory Makeover: Uncover Your Past, Take Charge of Your Future, Marilu Henner takes it a step further, explaining, “That’s not insanity; it’s bad memory.” She shares her personal insights and experiences as to how having a reliable memory has helped her in countless scenarios. She also gives readers advice in making memory work for them, from having the right attitude about life and developing a healthy mindset about the past, to building a personal history “track” and using it to actually change your life.
Marilu Henner is well known for her roles in Taxi and Evening Shade and her participation in The Celebrity Apprentice. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling books, Wear Your Life Well, Marilu Henner’s Total Health Makeover, and Healthy Life Kitchen. She lives in Los Angeles.
Suparna Rajaram is a Professor of Psychology at Stony Brook University. Rajaram studies human memory and amnesia to examine memory across the spectrum of conscious awareness. Her research also delves into the social influences on memory, and her work on how learning and remembering in groups shapes our memories has been featured in the media. Rajaram is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science (APS), and has served as Chair of the Governing Board of the Psychonomic Society. Rajaram has written over 50 scientific publications, and has been featured in the APS Faces and Minds in Psychological Science Series.
About the Karma Chain
As a prelude to the staged program, we are planning to stage a simple game of ‘telephone’ prior to the session to demonstrate the fallibility of oral transmission and the nature of short-term memory. Each ticket holder will stand on one of the steps of the 108-stepped spiral staircase of the Museum. The guest speaker stands at the base, whispers a short phrase they have prepared to the visitor on the first step, and the phrase would spiral up through the line until it reaches the ear of the scientist. The conversationalists will only reveal the original phrase and the result phrase when on stage in the theater, thus starting the conversation about memory.
About the Mnemonic Art Tour
Take advantage of a short tour of some paintings in the collection that function as mnemonic devices. The iconography in these paintings serve to reference specific passages in the sutras. That is why most of these works were not meant to be revealed to those who were not already initiates. The tour will include two types of paintings: narratives such as the life of the Buddha, and mandalas which are complex two-dimensional diagrams of one’s multi-dimensional state of mind.