Read Memory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions, Band 194) by Jonathan K. Foster Online


Memories are an integral part of being human They haunt us, we cherish them, and in our lives we collect of them with each new experience Without memory, you would not be able to maintain a relationship, drive your car, talk to your children, read a poem, watch television, or do much of anything at all Memory A Very Short Introduction explores the fascinating intricacies of human memory Is it one thing or many Why does it seem to work well sometimes and not others What happens when it goes wrong Can it be improved or manipulated through techniques such as mnemonic rhymes or brain implants How does memory change as we age And what about so called recovered memories can they be relied upon as a record of what actually happened in our personal past This book brings together our most recent knowledge to address in a scientifically rigorous but highly accessible way these and many other important questions about how memory works, and why we can t live without it.About the Series Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life s most interesting topics Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam....

Title : Memory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions, Band 194)
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0192806750
ISBN13 : 978-0192806758
Format Type : Other Book
Language : Englisch
Publisher : Oxford University Press Auflage 1 6 November 2008
Number of Pages : 152 Seiten
File Size : 792 KB
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Memory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions, Band 194) Reviews

  • Anka
    2020-05-24 00:01

    Memory is of paramount importance for who we are and what we do.In the words of neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga: “Everything in life is memory, save for the thin edge of the present.” (p. 2)That’s the topic of this book: how memories are made, how memory works, and how it can fail.Two lines of evidence are most important to understand memories. First, memory is not a static thing but has multiple and independent components, like working memory and long-term memory, or explicit (based on conscious awareness) and implicit memory (based on subconscious influences). This is by now established in the scientific literature, though the exact topologies of memory is still discussed. Second, memory is not dealing with a precise storage of past events, but is rather a construction than a reconstruction of events, with different influences on memories like past events, and selective and interpretative mechanisms. This gives possibilities for mistakes in memories, or even influencing retrieved memories (e. g. leading questions or misinformation effects).Probably the most interesting chapters concern the brain mechanisms of memory, inaccuracies of memory, and possibilities to improve memory, including techniques for learning and memory. An important conclusion is that memory is highly selective (working e. g. against every day things) and forgetting is also an important factor in sculpturing memories.The whole book contains a lot of information while it is easy to read.It is exemplary for a general science book which manages to present its material without using too much jargon and getting lost in the details.Certainly recommended.

  • S. K.
    2020-05-04 19:51

    Das Buch beinhaltet die Bedeutung des Gedächtnisses für das tägliche Leben, erklärt den wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnisstand durch Beschreibung der wegweisenden Experimente, beschreibt normale Gedächtnistäuschungen und -störungen durch Erkrankungen und gibt abschließend sogar ein paar Hinweise, wie man das Gedächtnis effektiv einsetzen kann.Ein wirklich übersichtliches Werk, das sehr gut die Brücke zwischen eigenen Erlebnissen (sehr nachvollziehbare Beispiele!) in Sachen Gedächtnis zum wissenschaftlichen Stand der Erkenntnis schlägt. Auch wenn es einige neuere Erkenntnisse gibt, die noch nicht referiert werden, kann man sich sehr gut in die Materie einlesen. Das Buch wäre eine Übersetzung ins Deutsche wert! Für so wenig Geld habe ich selten so ein fundiertes Buch bekommen.Geeignet nicht nur für Mediziner und Psychologen, mit ein wenig Ausdauer auch für den interessierten Laien. Wie würde ein bekannter Psychiater sagen: "Es geht um Ihr Gehirn!"(Die Hörbuchversion hat den Nachteil, daß man z.B. bei Eigennamen nicht ohne weiteres nachschlagen kann und auch keinen Index oder Literaturempfehlungen hat.)

  • Bernie Gourley
    2020-05-05 21:12

    Everything we think, do, or say relies upon--or is influenced by--memory, and yet our memories offer a much lower fidelity and more highly corruptible recording than we tend to think. Even those events that lead to “flashbulb” memory (i.e. JFK’s assassination, 9-11 terror attacks, or the 3-11 tsunami in Japan) aren’t remembered particularly well. You may remember where you were and what you were doing in broad brushstrokes, but you probably wouldn’t test well on the actual details of the event. Old memories are constantly over-lain with a corresponding loss of accuracy. This brief introduction explains the basics of how memory works, and—as importantly—how it doesn’t.The book is part of Oxford University Press’s “A Very Short Introduction” [AVSI] series, and it follows that approach. It’s under 150 pages, and written for someone looking for a “ground-up” explanation of the subject. It has minimal ancillary material, just a couple pages of “Further Reading” after the book’s seven chapters. There are a few black-and-white graphics throughout the book, a combination of photos and diagrams.Chapter 1 introduces the reader to what memory is and what it isn’t. One learns about the three part process of memory (encoding, storage, and retrieval), an idea which will be important throughout the rest of the book because these stages mirror the structure of memory failures and the means to build a better memory.Chapter 2 explores the landscape of memory, which is a great deal more complex than the short-term v long-term dichotomy that we all learned in school. There’s working memory, procedural memory, semantic memory, and episodic memory.In chapter 3, the reader learns about how memories are retrieved or recalled and the immense power of context in the process.Chapter 4 explains the many ways in which memory fails us from simple forgetting to false or corrupted memories. We learn how being knowledgeable improves our memory, but also how it can lead us into error.The next chapter advances the same theme by looking at amnesia. While amnesia is one of Hollywood’s favorite plot devices, the subject is generally poorly understood because of the simplified and myth-filled nature of the entertainment form of the affliction. Here you’ll learn what one isn’t seeing in the soap operas.Chapter 6 is entitled the “The Seven Ages of Man” and it looks at memory over the lifespan, with particular attention to the ends of the spectrum. On one end, why do most of us remember nothing from our first few years—and what we do remember is often quiet suspect (false memories from hearing stories about one’s infancy?) At the other end of the spectrum, we are all well aware of how memory degrades with age—particularly those of us buying and reading books on memory. However, one learns that it’s a great oversimplification. While our episodic (event) memory degrades, some elements of memory are quite robust to aging.The last chapter discusses what does (and to a small degree, what doesn’t) work with respect to improving one’s memory. As it’s a short chapter in a short book, this should be taken as an outline of the subject. If this is one’s main purpose for seeking out a book on memory, one may want to keep looking.At this point, I’ve read and reviewed many books in the AVSI series, and I found this one to be typical. It’s not among the most engaging of the titles in the series, but it gets the central concepts across in a way that is readable and soundly organized. Because there’s a lot of definitional and conceptual material to cover, there’s not a lot of room for the narrative approach, which isn’t to say that there aren’t brief descriptions of key cases here and there.I’d recommend this book for someone wanting an overview of the subject of memory.

  • David Tonghou
    2020-05-01 02:08


  • Magical Dragon
    2020-05-27 01:57

    There's not just short term and long term memory, but all sorts of memory. Memory is not a direct recording like a camcorder, but involves processing. What you remember isn't an exact replica of what you observed. There's so much more to memory than I thought. He also talks about strategies that double learning in the same amount of time (or learn the same amount in half the time). These are scientifically proven, practical and easy, and not like some gimmicky pop psychology book like "Amazing Powerful Memory Miracles". Written in a scientific technical manner, which I appreciated. If you're curious about how memory works, I think you will find it interesting.

  • George Collier
    2020-05-17 04:06


  • Philip H.
    2020-05-17 04:17

    As you'd expect from a book that's meant to be a concise and introductory text on memory, this book covers the highlights of memory research from the past century. But it also leaves a lot unsaid and portrays a very specific (but not necessarily universally accepted) perspective on memory.As a full-time memory researcher, of course I'm going to gripe about *something* not being in the book. And, in truth, Foster does a pretty remarkable job of packing a lot of material into a tiny book. The book covers different memory systems (short- and long-term memory), influential theories like levels-of-processing, as well as plenty on false memory. And Foster rightly hammers home the point that memory is not a passive storage system.That said, I was disappointed with major sections of the book and I think it perpetuates myths and misconceptions about memory. For instance, the sections on long, short, and working memory present a "systems-based" view of memory, where memory is divided into distinct modules which presumably have different principles. While this view should certainly be mentioned on any book on memory, Foster never mentions that this view has been challenged repeatedly: the distinction between long/short/working memory may be a false one that psychologists have foisted on the public. Also, the evidence for subsystems of working memory like the phonological loop, typically in the form of articulation span, has been widely challenged (if not completely discredited). It's not that Foster should consider every article ever written on memory -- that's impossible -- but the systems-based view has enjoyed a wide popularity that is now fading in favor of functionally-oriented views of memory.Memory research is a huge field so it's hard to expect someone to know the whole domain inside and out. And, as I said, the book generally does a good job of presenting ideas clearly, but it's disappointing that the book advocates such a specific conception of the architecture of memory without commenting on alternatives.