Saturday, April 07, 2007

A neurologist's favorite books on memory

Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandel, author of In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind, named his favorite books on memory for Opinion Journal.

One title on his list:
The Seven Sins of Memory by Daniel L. Schacter (Houghton Mifflin, 2001)

In The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers, Harvard professor Daniel L. Schacter shows that declarative memory (the kind involving people, places and objects) is highly fallible and susceptible to distortion and suggestion. The seven "sins" refers to memory's various weaknesses: its transience, absentmindedness, blocking, misattribution, suggestibility, bias and persistence. Schacter, another pioneer in the study of human memory, employs his insights not only to reveal the fragility of memory and its extraordinary vulnerability to influence by authority figures but also to indicate effective ways of understanding how memory is normally encoded.
Read about the only work of fiction to make Kandel's list.

--Marshal Zeringue