Blending the most up to date science with literature and personal stories, a psychologist provides an illuminating look at human memory-the way we remember and forget
A new consensus is emerging among cognitive scientists: rather than possessing fixed, unchanging memories, we create recollections anew each time we are called upon to remember. According to psychologist Charles Fernyhough, remembering is an act of narrative imagination as much as it is the product of a neurological process. In Pieces of Light, he eloquently illuminates this theory through a series of personal stories-a visit to his college campus to see if his memories hold; an interview with his ninety-three-year-old grandmother; conversations with those whose memories are affected by brain damage and trauma-each illustrating memory's complex synergy of cognitive and neurological functions.
Fernyhough guides readers through the fascinating new science of autobiographical memory, covering topics including navigation, imagination, and the power of sense associations to cue remembering. Exquisitely written and meticulously researched, Pieces of Light brings together science and literature, the ordinary and the extraordinary, to help us better understand our powers of recall and our relationship with the past.
Charles Fernyhough is an award-winning writer and psychologist. His most recent book, A Thousand Days of Wonder: A Scientist's Chronicle of His Daughter's Developing Mind, was a Parade magazine pick of the week and has been translated into seven languages. The author of two novels, The Auctioneer and A Box of Birds, Fernyhough has written for the Guardian, Financial Times, and Sunday Telegraph, contributes to NPR's Radiolab, blogs for Psychology Today, and is a Reader in Psychology at Durham University, UK. Visit his website at www.charlesfernyhough.com.
- New Scientist
- Financial Times
- Observer (UK)
- Elizabeth Loftus, Distinguished Professor, University of California, Irvine
- Douwe Draaisma, author of Why Life Speeds Up As You Get Older
- Dr. David Eagleman, Neuroscientist and author of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
- Daniel L. Schacter, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers