How is it possible to have vivid memories of something that
How can siblings remember the same event from their childhoods
Do the selections and distortions of memory reveal a truth about
Why are certain memories tied to specific places?
Does your memory
really get worse as you get older?
A new consensus is emerging among cognitive
scientists: rather than possessing fixed, unchanging memories, we create
recollections anew each time we are called upon to remember. As psychologist
Charles Fernyhough explains, remembering is an act of narrative imagination as
much as it is the product of a neurological process. In Pieces of Light, he eloquently illuminates this compelling
scientific breakthrough via a series of personal stories—a visit to his college
campus to see if his memories hold up, an interview with his 93-year-old
grandmother, conversations with those whose memories are affected by brain
damage and trauma—each illustrating memory’s complex synergy of cognitive and
Fernyhough guides readers through the fascinating new
science of autobiographical memory, covering topics including imagination and
the power of sense associations to cue remembering. Exquisitely written and
meticulously researched, Pieces of Light
brings together science and literature, the ordinary and the extraordinary, to
help us better understand the ways we remember—and the ways we forget.
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