Why we remember what we remember.
Memory is an essential part of who we are. But whatarememories, and how are they created? A new consensus is emerging among cognitive scientists: rather than possessing a particular memory from our past, like a snapshot, we construct it anew each time we are called upon to remember. Remembering is an act of narrative as much as it is the product of a neurological process.Pieces of Lightilluminates this theory through a collection of human stories, each illustrating a facet of memory's complex synergy of cognitive and neurological functions.Drawing on case studies, personal experience and the latest research, Charles Fernyhough delves into the memories of the very young and very old, and explores how amnesia and trauma can affect how we view the past. Exquisitely written and meticulously researched,Pieces of Lightblends science and literature, the ordinary and the extraordinary, to illuminate the way we remember and forget.
Dr Charles Fernyhough is a writer and psychologist. His most recent book,The Baby in the Mirror, was critically acclaimed in the UK and has been translated into seven languages. He is a Reader in Psychology at Durham University and has written for theGuardian,Financial TimesandSunday Telegraph.
'In this enthralling tour of human memory, Charles Fernyhough - himself a hybrid of science and poetry - reveals the mysterious forces behind these stories that shape our lives.', Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works
'Both playful and profound, a wonderfully memorable read', Douwe Draaisma, author of Why Life Speeds Up As You Get Older
'A beautifully written, absorbing read - a fascinating journey through the latest science of memory', Elizabeth Loftus, Distinguished Professor, University of California, Irvine
'Fernyhough weaves literature and science to expose our rich, beautiful relationship with our past and future selves.', Dr. David Eagleman, Neuroscientist and author of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
'Combining the engaging style of a novelist with the rigour of a scientist, Charles Fernyhough has written an insightful and thought provoking meditation on the nature of memory and its implications for our everyday lives. Pieces of Lightwill both linger in your memory and change the way you think about it.', Daniel L. Schacter, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers.
'An immense pleasure', New Scientist
'A captivating journey into the mind...[told] with great style.', Telegraph
'With elegance and clinical sympathy, Fernyhough tells the stories of patients with various forms of brain damage that cause amnesia. Memory may remain an enigma, but this book is a good, accessible read', BBC Focus