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Other titles in the Maps of the Mind series:
Memory and Emotion: Preserving the Presence of the Past (Maps of the Mind)
Synopses & Reviews
Memories come in many different forms and vary substantially in strength; some, such as where you put your car keys, can be brief, while others remain in the mind forever. James McGaugh, a leading neurobiologist, provides an accessible and thought-provoking look at how we remember and why we forget. Beginning with the first scientific studies of learning and ending with the latest cutting-edge research, he explores how memories are made and preserved; why some experiences fade and disappear with time; how stress hormones effect the consolidation of memory; whether drugs would improve our ability to learn; and what studies of extraordinary memories and disorders tell us about the workings of the brain systems involved in memory formation.
Book News Annotation:
In Medieval times, important events were sometimes "witnessed" not in handwriting, but by finding a small child to observe the proceedings and then throwing him in the river in order to sear the event into his memory. Writing for a general readership, McGaugh (neurobiology and behavior, U. of California at Irvine) explores the impact of emotional arousal and attendant hormone stresses on the operations of memory, scientifically explaining the reasons for that poor wet child, as well as why we have differing (strong or weak) memories, the effects of trauma on memory, the disappearance of memory over time, and other topics. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the prescientific writings of William James to the animal studies of the memory-research pioneers Pavlov, Thorndike, and Tolman, to the latest research of psychologists and neurologists drawing on PET imaging studies of the brain and laboratory experiments involving a variety of drugs, this succinct book provides a wealth of information. Drawing on fascinating research and case studies, James McGaugh, a distinguished neuroscientist, reveals that the key to understanding how memories are created may well be understanding how they are lost.
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