Memory is perhaps the most extraordinary phenomenon in the natural world. Every person s brain holds literally millions of bits of information in long-term storage. This vast memory store includes our extensive vocabulary and knowledge of language; the tremendous and unique variety of facts we ve amassed; all the skills we ve learned, from walking and talking to musical and athletic performance; many of the emotions we feel; and the continuous sensations, feelings, and understandings of the world we term consciousness. And we routinely access this tremendous volume of data in the blink of an eye. Without memory there can be no mind as we understand it.
Focusing on cutting edge research in behavioral and neuroscience, Memory, the second title in the Science Essentials series, is a primer of our current scientific understanding of the mechanics of memory and learning. During the past two decades, memory research has accelerated and we have seen an explosion of new knowledge about the brain. For example, there now exists a wide-ranging and successful applied science devoted specifically and exclusively to the study of memory that has yielded better procedures for eliciting valid recollections in legal settings and improved our track record for diagnosing and treating memory disorders.
Everyone fascinated by the cutting-edge scientific research that is revealing the incredible scope and power of the human brain will find this to be an unforgettable book.
"[Thompson and Madigan] engage readers in the scientific process--including descriptions of how scientists have figured out what they know--while avoiding overly technical language."
-- University of Southern California Chronicle, April 24, 2006
"[A] useful and cheerfully accessible account of current ideas on the phenomenology of, and neurophysiological processes associated with, memory formation."
-- The Times Higher Education Supplement, April 7, 2006