Invention of Memory: A New View of the Brain

Invention of Memory: A New View of the Brain

by Israel Rosenfield

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Most people assume that they are able to remember faces, places and things because fixed images of them are more or less permanently stored in their brains. This is a big mistake, according to Rosenfield, who teaches at the City University of New York. Recent research studies surveyed here suggest that the brain is a creative generator of memories, not a repository: recollections are spliced from emotionally colored fragments and depend strongly on context. The author throws down yet another gauntlet by attacking the dominant view of the human brain as a computer with highly specialized regions controlling speech, movement, vision and other functions. Rosenfield (Freud: Character and Consciousness) guides the reader through the thickets of current debates. He supports a neo-Darwinian theory that holds that we construct perceptual maps through a sort of natural selection. (April)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Physician Rosenfield's intention is to challenge localization theory, which hypothesizes that memories are permanently stored in specific areas of the brain. Rosenfield presents evidence that memories are not fixed images but instead past experiences altered to fit the present circumstances. Rosenfield first reinterprets clinical studies in brain research previously used to support localization theory; he then summarizes David Marr's work in artificial intelligence and Gerald Edelman's theory of Neural Darwinism to support his alternative theory. This latter information is highly technical and therefore difficult to comprehend in Rosenfield's brief descriptions. Of interest primarily to scholars and informed laypersons; recommended for larger collections. Kim Banks, Columbia Univ. Libs., New York

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