In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind Paperback – 24 Apr 2007
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"A scrupulously detailed yet magnificently panoramic autobiography." --The New York Times Book Review
"[A] scintillating mix of memoir, history of science, and fundamental biology without peer. It shows compellingly what first-rate science is and how it is created." --E.O. Wilson
"Few can interlace their autobiography with the evolution of a scientific paradigm. Even fewer can weave such a story seamlessly. Eric Kandel is one of these." --Nature
About the Author
Eric R. Kandel is Kavli Professor and University Professor at Columbia University and senior investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2000. He lives in New York City.
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What I find fascinating about the whole subject is that a book such as this hands the intelligent reader a mans life work on a platter and makes it easily understood. The work in reality fills a number of rather sizable text books at the least not to mention innumerable papers etc.
If you've got a shelf on the brain at home that you read through, add this to it :).
His writing is at its best when dealing with science. For a non-scientist, such as myself, his explanations are mercifully clear. The frequent diagrams also help. Although there were passages dealing with the mammalian brain that I found tough going these were few, and leavened by episodes of personal history and anecdote.
Ultimately my expectations created by the book title were not fully borne out. I will not be the only one to wonder whether the sea snail results, however fascinating, really do tell us much about what we commonly think of as memory. Overall I benefited greatly from the investment of time the book requires.
I think its attractiveness lies in the way it successfully merges approaches which are, by their nature, difficult to combine. For instance, the author combines a description of Freudian psychoanalysis with a 'hard-headed' view of deterministic science; he combines reminiscences of his childhood in Nazi Austria with his Nobel-winning knowledge of neuroscience.
I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to gain a sound understanding of the ideas and developments of neuroscience. This is delivered with a feeling of the excitement of being closely involved with the advances in the science and also a knowledge of the people who were involved.
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