This single volume is a tremendous compendium of psychological and biological research on learning and memory. It is an authoritative and scholarly work. Editor Squire is a professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Diego and is a well-known researcher in the area of amnesia. The other contributors are primarily academics as well Each of the 189 alphabetically arranged articles is signed and followed by a list of references. Entries vary in length from 500 to 2,000 words. Longer entries, such as "Invertebrate Learning" and "Long-Term Potentiation" are subdivided into shorter articles. The types of analyses in the essays range from general treatments of topics like "Dementia" or "Drugs and Memory" to detailed discussions of specific processes such as "Protein Synthesis in Long-Term Memory in Vertebrates". While the focus of the work is on human memory and learning, essential current research on animals is also covered. Included as well are biographies of individuals who made important contributions, such as Pavlov, William James, and Edward Thorndike The encyclopedia includes many illustrations, diagrams, and photographs that are especially useful in clarifying biological and anatomical information. The bibliographies vary widely in the number of references; some contributors cite more than 30 references, and others list only a few for similar-length articles. Most lists include current items, many from 1990 and a few from 1991. Cross-references appear as blind entries and within articles to related text. There is a detailed index that also contains "see" and "see also" references The emphasis is on experimental research rather than clinical or psychosocial considerations. There is, of course, a biography of Freud, and "Amnesia, Functional" does discuss memory disorders that are not biologically instigated. But a clinician will not find any information on the uses of reminiscence with the aged or extensive discussion of post-traumatic stress disorder, and the general reader will look in vain for references to "deja vu" in the index. "Natural Settings, Memory in" mentions that only recently has there been systematic study of the operation of memory in everyday life The potential readership is identified as students, teachers, journalists, and members of the educated public. While some articles are informative and appropriate for a general reader, such as "Tip-of-the-Tongue Phenomenon" or "Alzheimer's Disease", many of the entries assume a sophisticated readership. For the most part, the level of writing and subject matter seem to be most suitable for professionals or advanced students. This volume will be an essential source for academic reference collections, and large public libraries will also want this survey of current knowledge about the process of acquiring and storing information.
Containing 189 alphabetically arranged, signed articles, most accompanied by a bibliography, this reference for students, teachers, and the educated public encompasses the range of current knowledge about the brain's ability to process, store, and retrieve vast amounts of information. It's particularly helpful in explaining the biological aspects of learning and memory--brain anatomy, function, and chemistry--to the general reader through the use of illustrations. In addition, the Encyclopedia contains 26 biographies of key individuals associated with the field, including Freud, Piaget, and Skinner. Includes cross references, blind entries, and a detailed index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)