Memory, Brain, And Belief / Edition 1

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The scientific research literature on memory is enormous. Yet until now no single book has focused on the complex interrelationships of memory and belief. This book brings together eminent scholars from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, literature, and medicine to discuss such provocative issues as "false memories," in which people can develop vivid recollections of events that never happened; retrospective biases, in which memories of past experiences are influenced by one's current beliefs; and implicit memory, or the way in which nonconscious influences of past experience shape current beliefs.

Ranging from cognitive, neurological, and pathological perspectives on memory and belief, to relations between conscious and nonconscious mental processes, to memory and belief in autobiographical narratives, this book will be uniquely stimulating to scholars in several academic disciplines.

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Editorial Reviews

Metapsychology - James R. Beebe
The decidedly interdisciplinary anthology brings together researchers from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, literature and medicine to discuss the nature of memory and belief...Researchers present interesting results indicating that one's own memories of the past are strongly influenced by one's present beliefs, current experience and even nonconscious influences. The picture of memory presented throughout these essays is both fascinating and disquieting...It is uncomfortable to be told that we do not know our own minds and past experiences as well as we think we do, but it makes for captivating reading...An interesting and useful contribution to the growing body of research on memory, belief, and autobiography.
The Quarterly Review of Biology - Robert W. Doty
The eleven chapters, and a masterful summary by Damasio, present many facets of the problem, from the paranoid delusions of the schizophrenic to experimentally provoked errors in memory.
Library Journal
The process of recalling things, people, and events--using our memory--is something we do every day but think little about. Schacter (psychology, Harvard Univ.) and Scarry (English, Harvard Univ.), editors of this collection of conference papers, seek to zero in on this ubiquitous if ill-defined activity by examining it from a variety of perspectives. Working within the context of Harvard University's Initiative in Mind/Brain/Behavior, their interdisciplinary group of contributors approaches the subject from the perspective of the humanities as well as neurobiology, from psychiatry and literary analysis, through religious studies and economics. Chapters examine memory as a biological process, as consciousness, and as an aspect of personal history or autobiography; contributors attend to the distinctions between belief, as a conscious, qualifying notion, and memory, as a deeper more elusive process. The book's multidisciplinary approach makes for innovative insight into the subject; the writing and research is clear and well presented, accessible to the uninformed reader but still academically rigorous. Recommended for large public and academic libraries.--David E. Valencia, King Cty. Lib. Sys., Federal Way WA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
A multi-disciplinary (from the fields of psychology, cognitive science, neurology, and English) look at the complex interrelationships between the workings of memory and belief. The 11 contributions explore such topics as pathological distortions of belief in stroke victims, the effect of false perceptions on belief, the physical nature (based in the brain) of memory, the distinction between consciousness and awareness of past events, and the effect of belief on autobiographical memory from both psychological and literary perspectives.. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674007192
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2001
  • Series: Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 0.75 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel L. Schacter is Professor of Psychology, Harvard University.

Elaine Scarry is Professor of English and American Literature and Language at Harvard University.

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Table of Contents

Daniel L. Schacter and Elaine Scarry

1. Mining the Past to Construct the Future: Memory and Belief as Forms of Knowledge
Chris Westbury and Daniel C. Dennett

PART 1: Cognitive, Neurological, and Pathological Perspectives

2. Cognitive and Brain Mechanisms of False Memories and Beliefs
Marcia K. Johnson and Carol L. Raye

3. Memory and the Brain: New Lessons from Old Syndromes
V.S. Ramachandran

4. The Role of Memory in the Delusions Associated with Schizophrenia
Chris Frith and Raymond J. Dolan

PART 2: Conscious and Nonconscious Aspects of Memory and Belief: From Social Judgments to Brain Mechanisms

5. Implicit Stereotypes and Memory: The Bounded Rationality of Social Beliefs
Mahzarin R. Banaji and R. Bhaskar

6. Belief and Knowledge as Distinct Forms of Memory
Howard Eichenbaum and J. Alexander Bodkin

7. Where in the Brain is the Awareness of One's Past?
Endel Tulving and Martin Lepage

PART 3: Memory and Belief in Autobiographical Recall and Autobiography

8. Constructing and Appraising Past Selves
Michael Ross and Anne E. Wilson

9. Memory and Belief in Development
Katherine Nelson

10. Autobiography, Identity, and the Fictions of Memory
Paul John Eakin

11. Autobiography as Moral Battleground
Sissela Bok

Thinking about Belief: Concluding Remarks
Antonio R. Damasio



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