In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind

In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind

Eric R. Kandel

Language: English

Pages: 528

ISBN: 0393329372

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


“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 mind―a combination of cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and molecular biology―with 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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through the rooms in the right order. Because we do not have a sensory organ dedicated to space, the representation of space is a quintessentially cognitive sensibility: it is the binding problem writ large. The brain must combine inputs from several different sensory modalities and then generate a complete internal representation that does not depend exclusively on any one input. The brain commonly represents information about space in many areas and many different ways, and the properties of

member of the Nobel Committee at the Karolinska Institute. After outlining in Swedish our respective contributions, he turned and addressed us in English: Dear Arvid Carlsson, Paul Greengard, and Eric Kandel. Your discoveries concerning “signal transduction in the nervous system” have truly changed our understanding of brain function. From Arvid Carlsson’s research we now know that Parkinson’s disease is due to failure in synaptic release of dopamine. We know that we can substitute the lost

Science 234 (1986): 1249–54. Montminy, M. R., K. A. Sevarino, J. A. Wagner, G. Mandel, and R. H. Goodman. “Identification of a cyclic-AMP-responsive element within the rat somatostatin gene.” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 83, no. 18 (1986): 6682–86. Prusiner, S. B. “Prions.” Les Prix Nobel/The Nobel Prizes, edited by Nobel Foundation. Stockholm: Almquist & Wiksell International, 1997. Rayport, S. G., and S. Schacher. “Synaptic plasticity in vitro: Cell culture of identified Aplysia neurons

the brain. When one region or pathway is damaged, others may be able to compensate, at least partially, for the loss. When compensation occurs and no behavioral deficits are obvious, researchers have difficulty linking a damaged site in the brain to a behavior. 8–3 Complex behavior, such as language, involves several interconnected areas of the brain. Once it was known that language is produced and understood in specific regions of the brain, regions governing each of the senses were

those not entirely comfortable with their own science. Richard’s glasses have actually always been gold-rimmed, but otherwise the description is right on target. Besides having added the “Axel syndrome” to the annals of academic discomfort, Richard had made important contributions to recombinant DNA technology. He had developed a general method of transferring any gene into any cell in tissue culture. The method, called co-transfection, is widely used both by scientists in their research and

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