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256 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages -253).
The Harvard-trained neuroscientist presents an exploration of the intricacies of human memory that distinguishes between normal and concerning memory loss while explaining the profound roles of sleep, stress, and other contributing influences.
Have you ever felt a crushing wave of panic when you can't for the life of you remember the name of that actor in the movie you saw last week, or you walk into a room only to forget why you went there in the first place? If you're over forty, you're probably not laughing. You might even be worried that these lapses in memory could be an early sign of Alzheimer's or dementia. In reality, for the vast majority of us, these examples of forgetting are completely normal. Why? Because while memory is amazing, it is far from perfect. Our brains aren't designed to remember every name we hear, plan we make, or day we experience. Just because your memory sometimes fails doesn't mean it's broken or succumbing to disease. Forgetting is actually part of being human. In Remember, neuroscientist and acclaimed novelist Lisa Genova delves into how memories are made and how we retrieve them. You'll learn whether forgotten memories are temporarily inaccessible or erased forever and why some memories are built to exist for only a few seconds (like a passcode) while others can last a lifetime (your wedding day). You'll come to appreciate the clear distinction between normal forgetting (where you parked your car) and forgetting due to Alzheimer's (that you own a car). And you'll see how memory is profoundly impacted by meaning, emotion, sleep, stress, and context. Once you understand the language of memory and how it functions, its incredible strengths and maddening weaknesses, its natural vulnerabilities and potential superpowers, you can both vastly improve your ability to remember and feel less rattled when you inevitably forget. You can set educated expectations for your memory, and in doing so, create a better relationship with it. You don't have to fear it anymore. And that can be life-changing. -- Provided by publisher.
Part I: How we remember. Making memories 101 ; Pay attention ; In the moment ; Muscle memory ; Your brain's Wikipedia ; What happened -- Part II: Why we forget. Your memories (for what happened) are wrong ; Tip of the tongue ; Don't forget to remember ; This too shall pass ; Fuggedaboutit ; Normal aging ; Alzheimer's -- Part III: Improve or impair. Put it in context ; Stressed out ; Go to sleep ; Alzheimer's prevention ; The memory paradox -- Appendix: what to do about it all.
Science of memory and the art of forgetting