Memory Distortion / Edition 1

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Overview

Hypnosis, confabulation, source amnesia, flashbulb memories, repression--these and numerous additional topics are explored in this timely collection of essays by eminent scholars in a range of disciplines. This is the first book on memory distortion to unite contributions from cognitive psychology, psychopathology, psychiatry, neurobiology, sociology, history, and religious studies. It brings the most relevant group of perspectives to bear on some key contemporary issues, including the value of eyewitness testimony and the accuracy of recovered memories of sexual abuse.

The distinguished contributors to this volume explore the full range of biological phenomena and social ideas relevant to understanding memory distortion, including the reliability of children's recollections, the effects of hypnosis on memory, and confabulation in brain-injured patients. They also look into the activity and role of brain systems, cellular bases of memory distortion, and the effects of emotion and trauma on the accuracy of memory. In a section devoted to the social aspects of memory distortion, additional essays analyze the media's part in distorting social memory, factors influencing historical reconstruction of the collective past, and memory distortion in religion and other cultural constructs. Daniel Schacter launches the collection with a history of psychological memory distortions. Subsequent highlights include new empirical findings on memory retrieval by a pioneer in the field, some of the foremost research on computational models, studies of the relationship between emotion and memory, new findings on amnesia by a premier neuroscientist, and reflections on the power of collective amnesia in U.S. history, the Nazi Holocaust, and ancient Egypt.

Explores full range of biological phenomena & social ideas relevant to memory distortion.

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Editorial Reviews

American Journal of Psychiatry

This is a particularly timely book that compiles the presentations from a 1994 conference sponsored by the Harvard Center for the Study of Mind, Brain, and Behavior. The uniqueness of this volume comes from the diversity of its contributors. It brings together neurobiological, cognitive, psychiatric, neuropsychological, and sociocultural perspectives on the issue of memory distortion. The fundamental theme running through this book is that remembering is a process of reconstruction...The volume competently demonstrates that mind-brain sciences have progressed to a level where scientists of differing ilk may each proffer a different level of analysis...and yet have a meaningful dialogue.
— Shitij Kapur, M.D.

Contemporary Psychology

We owe much to Daniel Schacter for tackling head-on the question of the fallibility of memories. Schacter and colleagues have chosen a challenging interdisciplinary format to present essays on the increasingly controversial topic of memory distortion. This collection of essays emerged from a conference and subsequent discussion groups described as an 'interface between disciplines'. This description embodies the tone of Memory Distortion, which takes on the format of a congenial but lively debate among colleagues.
— Mark W. Jacobson and Dean C. Delis

Nature

Human memory [is not] like a photograph album, a collection of cassettes, compact discs or videos or any other accumulative archive of the past. Rather, memories are fragmentary, condensed, often distorted and inaccurate representations of past experience. This point is made in impressive detail by all the contributors to this excellent collection of essays on memory distortion...Memory Distortion provides an outstanding multidisciplinary perspective on memory accuracy, ranging from cognitive psychology through psychiatry, neuropsychology and neurobiology, to sociocultural analyses.
— Martin A. Conway

European Journal of Cognitive Psychology

This is a superb collection of chapters, which covers an impressive and wide range of topics related to memory distortion...[E]xploring this phenomenon at many levels is absolutely crucial...[and] I recommend the book to everyone with an interest in normal and pathological distortion.
— Lars Nyberg

American Journal of Psychiatry - Shitij Kapur
This is a particularly timely book that compiles the presentations from a 1994 conference sponsored by the Harvard Center for the Study of Mind, Brain, and Behavior. The uniqueness of this volume comes from the diversity of its contributors. It brings together neurobiological, cognitive, psychiatric, neuropsychological, and sociocultural perspectives on the issue of memory distortion. The fundamental theme running through this book is that remembering is a process of reconstruction...The volume competently demonstrates that mind-brain sciences have progressed to a level where scientists of differing ilk may each proffer a different level of analysis...and yet have a meaningful dialogue.
Contemporary Psychology - Mark W. Jacobson And Dean C. Delis
We owe much to Daniel Schacter for tackling head-on the question of the fallibility of memories. Schacter and colleagues have chosen a challenging interdisciplinary format to present essays on the increasingly controversial topic of memory distortion. This collection of essays emerged from a conference and subsequent discussion groups described as an 'interface between disciplines'. This description embodies the tone of Memory Distortion, which takes on the format of a congenial but lively debate among colleagues.
Nature - Martin A. Conway
Human memory [is not] like a photograph album, a collection of cassettes, compact discs or videos or any other accumulative archive of the past. Rather, memories are fragmentary, condensed, often distorted and inaccurate representations of past experience. This point is made in impressive detail by all the contributors to this excellent collection of essays on memory distortion...Memory Distortion provides an outstanding multidisciplinary perspective on memory accuracy, ranging from cognitive psychology through psychiatry, neuropsychology and neurobiology, to sociocultural analyses.
European Journal of Cognitive Psychology - Lars Nyberg
This is a superb collection of chapters, which covers an impressive and wide range of topics related to memory distortion...[E]xploring this phenomenon at many levels is absolutely crucial...[and] I recommend the book to everyone with an interest in normal and pathological distortion.
Library Journal
Schacter (Harvard, psychology) and others from a wide variety of fields deliver a substantial volume on the dysfunctions of memory. A central theme is the often large difference between memory input and output. At a time when repressed memories are hotly debated and lead to conflict in society, the authors here point out that memory falters not only because of the natural tendency to forget but also because memory is often altered or distorted. Studies allude to the possibility of implanting complete and believable false memories, particularly in children. Contributor Michael Kammen holds that how much memories vary changes significantly from culture to culture as well as in various literatures. The present volume bears similarities to John R. Anderson and Gordon H. Bower's volume Human Associative Learning (Lawrence Erlbaum Pubs., 1980). Recommended for specialized collections.-Dennis G. Twiggs, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Booknews
A collection of 16 multidisciplinary essays exploring hypnosis, confabulation, source amnesia, flashbulb memories, repression, and other intriguing mental machinations. Contributors' fields range from cognitive psychology, psychopathology, psychiatry, and neurobiology to sociology, history, and religion. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674566767
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 436
  • Product dimensions: 0.89 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Meet the Author

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

Preface
Gerald D. Fischbach and Joseph T. Coyle

Memory Distortion: History and Current Status
Daniel L. Schacter

Part I: Cognitive Perspectives

The Reality of Illusory Memories
Elizabeth F. Loftus, Julie Feldman, and Richard Dashiell

Constructive Memory and Memory Distortions: A Parallel-Distributed Processing Approach
James L. McClelland

False Beliefs: Some Developmental and Clinical Considerations
Stephen J. Ceci

Part II: Psychiatric and Psychopathological Perspectives

Hypnosis and Suggestion
David Spiegel

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Psychobiological Mechanisms of Traumatic Remembrance
John H. Krystal, Stephen M. Southwick, and Dennis S. Charney

Mood-congruent Memory Biases in Anxiety and Depression
Susan Mineka and Kathleen Nugent

Part III: Neuropsychological Perspectives

Biological Foundations of Accuracy and Inaccuracy in Memory
Larry R. Squire

Confabulation
Morris Moscovitch

Part IV: Neurobiological Perspectives

Emotional Activation, Neuromodulatory Systems, and Memory
James L. McGaugh

Speculations on the Fidelity of Memories Stored in Synaptic Connections
Rodney A. Swain, Kim E. Armstrong,
Thomas A. Comery, Aaron G. Humphreys,
Theresa A. Jones, Jeff A. Kleim,
and William T. Greenough

Steps Toward a Molecular Definition of Memory Consolidation
Ted Abel, Cristina Alberini,
Mirella Ghirardi, Yan-You Huang,
Peter Nguyen, and Eric R. Kandel

Part V: Sociocultural Perspectives

Some Patterns and Meanings of Memory Distortion in American History
Michael Kammen

Dynamics of Distortion in Collective Memory
Michael Schudson

Ancient Egyptian Antijudaism: A Case of Distorted Memory
Jan Assmann

Part VI: Concluding Reflections

Notes on the Cerebral Topography of Memory and Memory Distortion: A Neurologist's Perspective
Marek-Marsel Mesulam

Memory Distortion and Anamnesis: A View from the Human Sciences
Lawrence E. Sullivan

Contributors

Index

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