Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Layered Text of Memory

This month I reviewed ...

The What, When, and Why of Normal Memory Loss

By Martha Weinman Lear
244 pp. Wellness Central (Hachette Book Group) $13.99

... for the Internet Review of Books.

The author believes her research illustrates that memory works dynamically, and it both subjective (filtered) and ever-changing. An objective fact can be stored, but when retrieved, it is modified by the act of retrieval. That modification happens each time we retrieve the "fact." The author compare this to a "palimpsest," a tablet of layered text, each preceding layer imperfectly erased.

It is an interesting book for those of us bemused by the idea (ideal?) of truth, a thing logic and conditioning tell me is real, but experience and observation doubt.

1 comment:

imfunnytoo said...

Your review, as well as the book itself seem to be a useful construct.

I like the thesis and I also like the idea implicit in the book, that it's important for all to know (not just docs)the distinction between expected memory loss due to aging, and conditions like Alzheimers...