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In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind

by Eric R. Kandel

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7651421,127 (4.14)8
"Charting the intellectual history of the emerging biology of mind, Eric R. Kandel explains the revolutionary landmarks of modern biology and illuminates how behavioral psychology, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and molecular biology have converged into a powerful new science of the mind. Scientists are now positioned to provide meaningful and nuanced insights into mental functioning - from perception, thought, emotion, and memory to schizophrenia, depression, and age-related memory loss. These windows into the mind also open the way to more effective healing." "Kandel's personal quest to understand memory is threaded throughout this absorbing intellectual history. Beginning with his memories of childhood experiences in Nazi-occupied Vienna, In Search of Memory chronicles Kandel's outstanding career from his initial fascination with history and psychoanalysis through his exploration of neurobiology to his groundbreaking work on the cellular and molecular process of memory, which earned him the Nobel Prize." "A deft mixture of memoir and history, modern biology and behavior, In Search of Memory traces how a brilliant scientist's intellectual journey intersected with one of the great scientific endeavors of the twentieth century: the search for the biological basis of memory."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
Recently added bytoddish, EndlessDreams, eerowland1, AKW, sfzeller, MenloPark, private library, CIMA
  1. 10
    Naturalist by Edward O. Wilson (GabrielF)
    GabrielF: Wilson and Kandel work in completely different areas of biology but they both write inspiring and honest biographies that explain their process, their results and its significance.
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English (12)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
I enjoyed most the biography portion. I enjoyed least the detailed development and evaluation of various theories. ( )
  bread2u | Jul 1, 2020 |
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
  OldHack | Nov 2, 2017 |
Book offers a lot of information (sometimes an overload of it, but in a good way). The author starts very basic and leads to quite a high level of detail about neurophysiology.

One of the best lines: "The greatest strength of a scientific method is its ability to disprove a hypothesis.".

For someone who is interested in the 'science of things', this is a must read to know the inner intricacies of the brain. ( )
  nmarun | Mar 11, 2014 |
A exploration of the work of Eric Kandel told from an autobiographical perspective. Kandel seamlessly weaves together the personal and the scientific, and brings out the great web of influences and interactions which make science the most communal enterprise in the world.
  PendleHillLibrary | Feb 7, 2014 |
A wonderful book that works both as a layman introduction to the new field of neurobiology and a Nobel prize scientist autobiography. Eric Kandel, having dabbled in psychiatry, turned to and devoted himself to the first unpromising new field of the science of the brain. He was present during the progression from physical/electrical to chemical to biochemical experimentation in discovering the mechanics of the brain. His topics are learning and memory which he examined on a genus of sea slugs called Aplysia. Lab work not patient interaction was his calling, which reveals itself in the book by a very mechanistic-deterministic approach. He is not squeamish in opening up cat brains, inflicting pain on his subjects to train them This disregard for the feelings of those not close to him fits into his conservative world view, which his liberal New Yorker relatives have trouble to understand.

Some of this harshness is certainly due to his lucky, unlucky personal history. Kandel's Jewish-Galician petit-bourgeois parents immigrated to Vienna where they owned a toy store in Vienna's 18th district (Today, this space is occupied by gourmet cheese store). Smart. sufficiently moneyed and with good local and US connections, the Kandels managed to escape from the worst of the Holocaust. While his parents and his brother suffered from the tragedy of the Second World War, it opened up a career for Eric Kandel, he probably would have been unable to follow in Vienna. Thanks to the support of New York's Jewish community, he received an excellent education and entry into elite universities. His understandable anger against Nazi Austria (and its tainted de-Nazification) results in a too positive retelling of Austrofascism (the regime that ruled Austria prior to the Nazi takeover). Just because the Austrofascists directed their anger against socialists (who often happened to be Jews) and not the members of the bourgeoisie (such as the Kandels) should not serve as an excuse to downplay its evilness. Apart from this small incomplete account of Austria's history, it is a tremendous read that highlights the joy of discovery and to seek large progress by examining the tiny and the simple things. ( )
1 vote jcbrunner | May 1, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
A great book if you ar new to the neuroscience. You will discover a fascinating world. After reading I became totally addicted to neuroscience and bought several other books about the same topic.
What's missing are good illustrations since the mechanisms described can be quite complex to picture.
I recommend as a companion of the book to have
either le grand Larousse du cerveau with beautiful color pictures or more student with alos beautiful picture Neurosciences, a la decouverte du cerveau edition pradel.
added by basile14 | editalain ozan, alain ozan
 
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"Charting the intellectual history of the emerging biology of mind, Eric R. Kandel explains the revolutionary landmarks of modern biology and illuminates how behavioral psychology, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and molecular biology have converged into a powerful new science of the mind. Scientists are now positioned to provide meaningful and nuanced insights into mental functioning - from perception, thought, emotion, and memory to schizophrenia, depression, and age-related memory loss. These windows into the mind also open the way to more effective healing." "Kandel's personal quest to understand memory is threaded throughout this absorbing intellectual history. Beginning with his memories of childhood experiences in Nazi-occupied Vienna, In Search of Memory chronicles Kandel's outstanding career from his initial fascination with history and psychoanalysis through his exploration of neurobiology to his groundbreaking work on the cellular and molecular process of memory, which earned him the Nobel Prize." "A deft mixture of memoir and history, modern biology and behavior, In Search of Memory traces how a brilliant scientist's intellectual journey intersected with one of the great scientific endeavors of the twentieth century: the search for the biological basis of memory."--BOOK JACKET.

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