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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book of memory
You are, as this book tries to make clear, your memories. That is, your personal identity is so intricately based on the sum total of your memories that it makes it impossible to have any idea of what a "self" may mean without resorting to understand how memory works. Since we take the memories we have to be the basis of our identity, it can be very hard to imagine that...
Published on 12 April 2011 by Dr. Bojan Tunguz

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3.0 out of 5 stars ok book
This book is ok but has a few sections almost identical to other books, it's not a book for learning but more for review of your knowledge.
Published 5 months ago by M. Cooper


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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book of memory, 12 April 2011
By 
Dr. Bojan Tunguz (Indiana, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Memory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
You are, as this book tries to make clear, your memories. That is, your personal identity is so intricately based on the sum total of your memories that it makes it impossible to have any idea of what a "self" may mean without resorting to understand how memory works. Since we take the memories we have to be the basis of our identity, it can be very hard to imagine that this memory has some serious limitations and ways that it can deceive us. A scientific study of memory is about a century and a half old, and over time we have managed to understand quite a bit about the inner working of human memory. The two main types of memory, short term and long term, are familiar to us from everyday life, but what is not too familiar is how short term memories get converted to the long term ones. This book gives an excellent account of this process, as well as how stable long term memories can be.

The book discusses the neurological basis of memory. All our memories are (at least for the foreseeable future) stored in our brains, and different parts of brain have a different function when it comes to the storage and retrieval of memories. A demage to any of those brain centers can have very serious and debilitating consequences for our normal cognitive functions.

A chapter of the book is dedicated to memory impairments, as well as to some reliable techniques for boosting one's memory. It also explains that there is an upper limit to how much we can remember. And that's a good thing - those few unfortunate individuals who could remember everything (mnemonists) ended up cluttering their minds with absolutely useless information, and normal human activities that we take for granted became impossible for them. It turns out, that we are not just what we remember: we are also what we forget. And that's worth keeping in mind.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Consideration Before Purchase is Good Practice, 25 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Memory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
As my title states, with many of the 'Very Short Introduction' books, they do require some weighing up before purchase. Some merely outline some of the contemporary ideas of a theme after roughly sketching out a brief history, whilst others (like Foster and Lockley's book Sleep), are incredibly informative, simply written with not a whiff of postmodernism or pretension, and are a genuine pleasure to read with relevant citation and referencing so that one may explore themes further. This book on memory however, is not one of the best that I have read, although it does create a well structured composite of relevant themes to the extent that one would expect from a 'Very Short Introduction'. In fact, it is not a bad piece of science writing. My main criticism with this book is that at times VERY interesting statements are made whilst the author is granted a mere mention by name in parenthesis and yet there exists no actual reference in sight! I want to explore themes further, to use the 'Very Short Introduction' as platform from which I happily throw myself into further research. That is surely the purpose of these books!? Now, before you cry out in defensive protest, I know that if I wanted an in-depth account of the cognitive mechanisms of memory or the neurological deficits produced by agnosia or aphasia, I could turn to a text book or perhaps read some Oliver Sacks or Alexander Luria and you would be correct! But, as any academic will no doubt understand, scrawling through journals to find a specific statement apparently made by a rather prolific journal writer is not all that enjoyable at the best of times (and by best of times I refer to those times that one is permitted access to a comfortable number of journals). So, to conclude, an adequately written book that does indeed summarize some important themes and issues. However, it is poor scientific practice not to cite or reference works, to evidence statements, and to become the bane of psychology students is generally bad practice all round! Buy this book if you want to get a "rough idea" but if you wanted to use the book as a spring board into further research then I wouldn't bother...
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3.0 out of 5 stars ok book, 15 Feb 2014
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This book is ok but has a few sections almost identical to other books, it's not a book for learning but more for review of your knowledge.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the layman, 10 Dec 2013
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Great introduction to the current knowledge we have on memory, very few parts required to do some more research to understand, which is always nice in a scientific book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Memory a very short introduction, 10 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Memory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
Memory a very short introduction by Foster, J.K. Item seemed to take along time to arrive (about 3 weeks) which seems a long time when you are paying for postage. however my daughter (who book was for) is very happy with my purchase as she has others from among this introduction to: sets.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction, 7 July 2013
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A great book for anyone who has an interest in learning more about memory. It doesn't have a massive amount of in-depth scientific detail so if you already know a bit about memory then this probably isn't a book for you. However, as a psychology student I still found it to be an easy-going and enjoyable read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction, 2 May 2013
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Easy to read and very interesting. Memory is such an important necessity in life and as you get older it becomes more fragile. This is a good introduction to the subject.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I read this a couple of months ago and have forgotten most of this., 3 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Memory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
Another fascinating and informative book in this wonderful series, his style is sometimes a bit dry but the subject is compelling. I'm going to have to stop reading last thing at night as apparently this is the worst time of day to retain information.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my memory - a short introduction, 7 Oct 2012
This review is from: Memory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
I used to ask my grandma how different things were when she was young and she told me about the time when there were no buses and i was hugely amazed that anybody could be so old and the world could ever be so old and i thought that i would never get old and have tales to tell about a world where there was no such thing as yoghourt or supermarkets or mobile phones and how we all seemed to get on without them and the world was no more or less of a mystery and how there were no Starbucks and the shops would close on wednesday afternoon and everything was shut on sunday and how the town was so quiet and how one day my dad drove us up to london and we parked the car outside Old Scotland Yard and there were no meters, no traffic wardens and no yellow lines and all that then - i thought that i would never get old and have tales to tell and be sad at how it had all gone that i would never get old but now i am telling you like i would explain to myself as a little child at my knee that i sat down at the table and told about how i used to run out into the street when i heard the clatter of the rag and bone mans wooden cart wheels in the street and heard the clanging of the handbell and the cry `any old iron, any old iron' and the horse pulled up and fed from his hessian bag and the man in the big coat took the broken metal things my mother had given me and he gave me a small blue plastic rocket thing that you could throw at the ground and the explosive cap inside went off and it jumped up high in the air and there were men that delivered the groceries and a baker with a big wicker basket of loaves who used to come to the door and one day my brother didn't come home and my mother said he was dead of a kidney disease except she didn't have to tell me i just knew like children do and as i got older and found out about the pain that makes the world go round i knew that was where i found myself in a foul rag and bone shop and a raving slut was keeping the till
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Memory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Memory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Jonathan K. Foster (Paperback - 6 Nov 2008)
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