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.
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