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Eric R. Kandel
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In Search Of Memory: The Emergence Of A New Science Of Mind

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  2,373 ratings  ·  129 reviews
Nobelist Eric Kandel's account of how his personal quest to understand memory intersected with the emergence of a new science.

In Search of Memory relates the astonishing story of how four different and distinct disciplinesbehaviorist psychology, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and molecular biologyconverged into a powerful new science of mind. Through its profound insi
Published (first published 2006)
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Lewis Weinstein
I'm taking a course at Oxford this summer on "The Brain and the Senses." So this is a little extra homework. The idea of memory, where thoughts come from, etc., is fascinating to me.

And, many years ago, before I was there, Kandel had his laboratory at the Public Health Research Institute, of which I was later CEO.

I'll post more when I get into it.



The course, offered by Oxford tutor Gillie McNeill, combined descriptions o
I'm really enjoying this book so far, especially as I'm considering a career in neuroscience research. Kandel's memoirs are both personal and historical. Reading about Kandel's personal growth to eventually become one of the leading scientists of the field has given me much opportunity to reflect on my own career goals. Also learning about the historical development of neuroscience as a discipline has been an interesting to the field as well (and much lighter to read than Principles of Neuroscie ...more
A very readable science book for the layperson, explaining the basic neuroscience of memory. The author, a Nobel-prize-winning neuroscientist, weaves three threads together: a memoir about his own life, the history of thought and research on the workings of the brain, and an account of his own research into the biochemistry and physiology of memory formation. It's a tribute to the author's lucidity that I--whose 10th-grade biology class was 40 years ago now--was able to understand a lot of compl ...more
Nov 04, 2014 Ebnarabi is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
تعتمد حركة )الاحياء( في الخلايا العصبية للدماغ على ثلاثة ركائز اساسية
The biology of nerve cell
1. الخلية العصبية او ’ نيورون’ هو الوحدة الاساس في عملية حركة الاشارات في الدماغ
“The Neuron doctrine” the nerve cell or neuron is the fundamental building block and elementary signaling unit of the brain”
2. النظرية الايونية والتي تركز على عملية نقل المعلومات (الاشارات) داخل الخلية حيث تقوم الخلية الواحدة بانشاء اشارات الاكترونية تسمى action potential او امكانيات الفعل او العمل ان صح التعبير.
A unique blend of memoir and science describing Kandel’s (Nobel prize winner for Physiology or Medicine in 2000) quest for memory both at the personal and scientific level.
Kandel, a 9 year old Jew in Vienna in 1938, starts his book with his memories of Anschluss and Kristallnacht, describes the vividness of these memories and how years later they made him interested in why and how certain memories are remembered while others are lost. Throughout his career, he tackled brain and memory research
Oct 05, 2007 Piotr rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone stuck on a 12 hour flight
One of the biggest questions plaguing behavioral biologists during the 20th century was the localization of the engram, or, a memory trace in the brain. Well, most of them who weren't dualists were looking in the brain. One of the most thorough studies of engram localization was performed by Karl Lashley, who spent a good chunk of his career doing cortical lesions on rodents and primates. he sums up his (mostly) negative results with this quote:

"I sometimes feel, in reviewing the evidence on the
After reading this book I feel it is the only one I've read, apart from MAUS, that deserves five stars.
Morgan Blackledge
Warning: this book can be a little dull in the autobiographical sections (which you are free to skim), and a bit challenging in some of the technical parts (particularly if you are new to the nuts and bolts of cognitive neuroscience). But if you're a cognitive neuroscience dork (like me) and you love reading about the history of science (like me), and if you are reading this book on an e-reader, so you can pop back and forth between the text and web based resources e.g. Wikipedia etc. (like me), ...more
I'll be honest, I didn't finish it, and I likely won't any time soon. But, I wanted to say a few things about it in case anyone else was interested.

Kandel does a fantastic job of explaining the neurobiology of learning and memory to the layman. He makes it understandable without dumbing it down. If you're interested in that, read this book. This guy is one of the greats. He has a noble prize and co-wrote Principles of Neural Science, the standard neuroscience book that every neuroscientist has.
Kandel begins and ends his memoir/neuroscience primer with bold declarations of faith, that consciousness itself, as well as (and of perhaps even greater import) the unconscious processes deduced by psychoanalytic investigations, can be accounted for entirely via molecular and cellular activities. The book is therefore a great education and challenge for those who are interested in the problems and possibilities of reductionism. Kandel's work, for which he won a Nobel prize, shows that the simpl ...more
Biser Hong
Kandel has created a narrative that fuses his own scientific development and interests with the broader historical and landmark developments in neuroscience. He gradually focuses in on his own expanding research to present his own findings on memory and learning along with other related work. I found the book incredibly clearly written and his explanation of tricky scientific ideas very approachable.
The autobiographical sections can be a bit unexciting but his interests in art and psychoanalysi
به خاطر ترجمهاش 4 از 5 میدم در غیر این صورت ریتش 5 هست. ...more
What can say? This book is a great book for anyone at all interested in Neuroscience. Fascinating discoveries on why some memories are stronger than others. This information has allowed me to realize that I can control how strongly I feel about things that happened in the past by simply not revisiting the memory. With time the strength of the memories will fade.

worth reading.
Nov 11, 2011 Biogeek rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Biogeek by: Sharon
An absolutely brilliant book from a brilliant mind. Kandel's writing flows off the page and is so easy to follow, even as he delves into some pretty intricate physiology, but always with some personal stories. Humorous and human, this is how science should be written. Am loving it so far.
Kelly Peters
I read this for a brain science and pedagogy. It was a wealth of information on the brain. Absolutely fascinating, yet had to reread some sections because it was hard for me to comprehend. The best part is how he intertwined his life story into his studies of the brain. Fascinating!
an incredibly honest and humble biography. Kandel writes the story of his life and of the birth and growth of neuroscience: the people that are behind discoveries, the faces behind the lab glasses.
this is not just a neuroscientifical biography of a nobel prize-winner, it is also the story of a man with an incredible scientific intuition and a unique way of seeing things. Kandel never forgets to mention his admiration for his colleagues, the love of his family, art and psychotherapy as sources o
Kayson Fakhar
نزدیک صفحه اطلاعات هیجان انگیز و انقلابی. ...more
This book is my idea of perfect science writing: Kandel doesn't skimp over the details of his research, and instead dives right in, unlike so many of the science books out there. Parts of this book read like a beefed up text book - I even found myself referring back to some sections of this book while studying for my first set of neuroscience exams.

Kandel has a great way of showing how he 'does' science, and what it means to him - in this respect, this book is deeply personal; it does a great jo
This book is more than just the biography of an extraordinary talented and intelligent man. It's a book embedded in history, a history of Austria, a history of science ranging from psychology, psychoanalysis and medicine to work in the field which lead him to win the Nobel Prize, i.e. molecular biology.

This makes the book an interesting read for a lot of people, not only people interested in neuroscience or biology. It feels like peeking into the mind of a genius. Joining him in his journey, fee
Kandel covers his memory from his family's escaping the Holocaust from Vienna to the United States when he was 10 years old on through his current research as a neuroscientist par excellence. Why and how did his memory work to code life's experiences. He molds his narration of bioneurological research of the simple cellular response to stimuli of snails to today's research of the unconscious versus conscious brain activity. The synaptic energy of cells gets way beyond my capabilities but his dis ...more
I first became familiar with the work of Eric Kandel in the late 1990s. At the time, my own research veered into the subject of learning and memory, occasioned by the derivation by my research group of mice with genetic alterations affecting long-term memory. The approaches that we followed in those studies mirrored those pioneered by the Kandel group, and I spent many long hours back then pouring over the elegant research papers written by Kandel and his colleagues. From reading reviews and mon ...more
Derek Davis
This is a superb study of the science of mind as well as a superb study of Kandel as a human being. It traces his progress from a child escaping the Holocaust to his Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology, and beyond. Starting out in psychiatry, he switched to being a research scientist who followed his own intuitions, rather than professional advice, to slowly unfold the secrets of how memories are formed in the neural system, first in a sea snail, then in mice, finally in humans. Though the pr ...more
A Good Mystery Novel

Kandel tells the story of how fascination with memory has led him to a life-long search for the biological underpinning of memory and consciousness. It's part autobiography and part textbook, but reads like a good mystery novel. I could hardly put it down until I finished it. His writing is very fluid and concise, and he inserts figures at just the right junctures to illustrate and summarize the concepts. I learned many things in several fields that fascinate me, psychoanalys
An amazing journey through the evolution of thought of one of the great movers of neuroscience in the 20th century. Kandel's interest in the mind first brought him into Freudian psychoanalysis, before becoming disillusioned by its dualism and lack of scientific inquiry - the belief that studying neuron physiology could not reveal anything about the emergent properties of the mind.

Kandel recounts his own personal journey that led him to studying memory and learning through seeking neural correlat
Eric Kandel explains the basics of neural signaling through this autobiographical narrative. While I can't pretend that I didn't know that there would be some discussion of his own personal stuff, I didn't realize just how much of the book would be dedicated to his life as a Holocaust survivor. I'm sorry if it seems that I'm unfairly trivializing something serious, but his Holocaust survival experience consisted of being forced by Nazis to stay with some neighbors for a week and then promptly be ...more
This is one of those rare books that does a great job of combining personal memoir with scientific explanations. The author experienced first hand the groundbreaking discoveries about brain function over the last 50+ years, and as a Nobel Prize winner for physiology/medicine he was a major player as well. With this perspective, he traces the scientific questions about the brain as they evolved over his career.

The author talks about many of the scientists and their methods in making these importa
Hasham Ahmad
This book is part autobiography and part essay on the emergence of a new kind of science of mind and the authors involvement in it from his youth through to his Nobel award and beyond. At first it seems a bit vague as the reader wanders through Austrian involvement in second world war antisemitism but soon some insights into the mechanism of the brain emerge. It is rewarding to learn how synapses and neurons function and grow in the brain in response to stimuli and how this leads to the search f ...more
John Orman
A good review of what we know of brain and mind, plus quite a memoir of a Nobel Prize winner's lifetime of research about those subjects.

Kandel's professional life has been at the frontier of brain science, popularizing the "molecular biological approach" to the learning process.

There is a considerable discussion of advanced biotechnology. At least now I know what the big Genentech plant down the street from me does--commercializing genetically engineered proteins for medical purposes, often usi
Nathan B
To start to learn about memory, I highly recommend this book!

No matter what one's occupation, the subject of memory is something that impacts us all. This book really helps in exploring the vital aspects of this "new science." Basically, Kandel conveys to the lay reader an understanding of how one conceptualizes coupled with a basic understanding of how memory takes place. It also lays the foundation for a belief about how learning occurs.

Some of the basic theories of the subject of memory might
This is half a memoir, half a book on the biological basis of cognition, and I dove into it enthusiastically. Unfortunately, there's easily enough material in here for two books, one for the personal aspects and one for the science. I burned out halfway through Kandel's career, and couldn't muster the enthusiasm to finish the final hundred-odd pages before it was due back at the library.

Still, I'll keep an eye out for a used copy, because the subject is fascinating indeed: how does one study the
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Eric R. Kandel is an American neuropsychiatrist who was a recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on the physiological basis of memory storage in neurons. He shared the prize with Arvid Carlsson and Paul Greengard.

Kandel, who had studied psychoanalysis, wanted to understand how memory works. His mentor, Harry Grundfest, said, “If you want to understand the brai
More about Eric R. Kandel...
Principles of Neural Science The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain from Vienna 1900 to the Present Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and the New Biology of Mind Essentials of Neural Science and Behavior Molecular Neurobiology in Neurology and Psychiatry (Research Publications (Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Disease))

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“Psychiatric illnesses were classified into two major groups—organic illnesses and functional illnesses—based on presumed differences in their origin. That classification, which dated to the nineteenth century, emerged from postmortem examinations of the brains of mental patients.” 1 likes
“Indeed, the underlying precept of the new science of mind is that all mental processes are biological—they all depend on organic molecules and cellular processes that occur literally “in our heads.” Therefore, any disorder or alteration of those processes must also have a biological basis.” 1 likes
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