In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mindby Eric R. Kandel
Pub. Date: 03/19/2007
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
“A stunning book.”Oliver Sacks
Memory binds our mental life together. We are who we are in large part because of what we learn and remember. But how does the brain create memories? Nobel Prize winner Eric R. Kandel intertwines the intellectual history of the powerful new science of the minda combination of cognitive psychology,
“A stunning book.”Oliver Sacks
Memory binds our mental life together. We are who we are in large part because of what we learn and remember. But how does the brain create memories? Nobel Prize winner Eric R. Kandel intertwines the intellectual history of the powerful new science of the minda combination of cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and molecular biologywith his own personal quest to understand memory. A deft mixture of memoir and history, modern biology and behavior, In Search of Memory brings readers from Kandel's childhood in Nazi-occupied Vienna to the forefront of one of the great scientific endeavors of the twentieth century: the search for the biological basis of memory.
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Table of Contents
Personal Memory and the Biology of Memory Storage 3
A Childhood in Vienna 12
An American Education 33
One Cell at a Time 53
The Nerve Cell Speaks 74
Conversation Between Nerve Cells 90
Simple and Complex Neuronal Systems 103
Different Memories, Different Brain Regions 116
Searching for an Ideal System to Study Memory 135
Neural Analogs of Learning 150
Strengthening Synaptic Connections 165
A Center for Neurobiology and Behavior 180
Even a Simple Behavior Can Be Modified by Learning 187
Synapses Change with Experience 198
The Biological Basis of Individuality 208
Molecules and Short-Term Memory 221
Long-Term Memory 240
Memory Genes 247
A Dialogue Between Genes and Synapses 261
A Return to Complex Memory 279
Synapses Also Hold Our Fondest Memories 286
The Brain's Picture of the External World 295
Attention Must Be Paid! 307
A Little Red Pill 319
Mice, Men, and MentalIllness 335
A New Way to Treat Mental Illness 352
Biology and the Renaissance of Psychoanalytic Thought 363
Rediscovering Vienna via Stockholm 393
Learning from Memory: Prospects 416
Notes and Sources 453
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A fabulous book from a distinguished scientist who has spent his career in search of memory. Part memoir, part history of neuroscience, and part pop science account, this is definitely an informative and even an entertaining read. It is filled with colorful characters from the past and present of neuroscience, some famous, some primarily known within their particular field of research. One of these colorful characters was Alden Spencer, who was one of Kandel's colleagues, who had a sharp mind and died at a tragically young age. The book also contains some very interesting information about the brain basis of mental illness, including some interesting rodent studies. Also discusses a merging of biological and psychoanalytical thought, plus some recent ideas about consciousness. Overall, a very worthwhile and enjoyable read, for the scientist and general reader alike, delivered with the same thoughtfulness and attention to detail as in his co-authored textbook, Principles of Neural Science.
This is an outstanding book that weaves biography and science. In the process you may gain an understanding and appreciation for the way scientists do their work. Kandel has made a real effort to make the complex intelligible to the general reader.
This is one of the best books i have ever read. Eric makes a careful synthesis of Science and Biography, and maintains the equilibrium throughout the book. Though i am not with a medical background, i could get the basics of memory and physiology. When outlining a complex scientific theories, he accompanies them with relevent basics, which makes you not to feel 'Greek to me'. I recommend everyone to read this book and take the benefit of one of the most important discoveries of 20th century.