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

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  2,990 Ratings  ·  154 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
Aug 05, 2012 Lewis Weinstein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Sep 27, 2015 Anca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
This is one of the most eye-opening books I have ever read. It was not easy reading it as I constanly felt the urge to pay 100% attention in order not to miss anything and to try to understand and decode all the precious information that I had before my eyes. It was more of a study book from which I've learned about history, psychology, biology and genetics.

Reading this book, I've learned that anxiety and depression are disorders of emotion whilst schizophrenia is a disorder of thought. I've lea
Jun 01, 2011 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 05, 2015 Ebnarabi rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Morgan Blackledge
Mar 30, 2013 Morgan Blackledge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 16, 2015 Marie-aimée rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fr
Ce livre est tout à fait époustouflant! Il s'agit d'une autobiographie du scientifique Eric Kandel. C'est à la fois un témoignage historique et scientifique ; les péripéties de sa vie et celles de ses recherches sur la mémoire. Au début, il se focalise sur son éducation: on retrouve la frénésie de la vie de la Vienne d'entre-deux-guerre (on peut croiser avec le témoignage de Stefan Zweig par exemple) et même de son idéalisation. Issu d'une famille juive autrichienne, il est profondément marqué p ...more
Apr 28, 2012 Mag rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 liked it  ·  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
May 08, 2015 Ruxandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading this book I feel it is the only one I've read, apart from MAUS, that deserves five stars.
Aug 13, 2014 Fazlollah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
به خاطر ترجمهاش 4 از 5 میدم در غیر این صورت ریتش 5 هست. ...more
Kayson Fakhar
Oct 03, 2014 Kayson Fakhar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
نزدیک صفحه اطلاعات هیجان انگیز و انقلابی. ...more
Aug 18, 2016 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book more-or-less successfully combined an autobiography and a research history into a holistic narrative of the life's work of the author. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about how brains enable animals to change their responses to environmental events.

The title captures the main theme of the book as far as the research aspect is concerned: Kandel spent much of his life examining neurons and related biological structures to determine a measurable, experime
Aug 07, 2016 Nikos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: neuro
Παρότι η πρόθεση της συγγραφής του βιβλίου είναι αυτοβιογραφική με σκοπό να εξηγήσει την πορεία προς το Νόμπελ (συνηθίζεται να ζητάνε από τους νομπελίστες να γράφουν τέτοια βιβλία) διαθέτει δύο σπάνιες αρετές:
Η πρώτη είναι η συγκροτημένη αφήγηση της ιστορίας των νευροεπιστημών που καταλαμβάνει το πρώτο μέρος του βιβλίου. Έχω διαβάσει διάφορα σχετικά βιβλία αλλά ο τρόπος που παρουσιάζει τα πράγματα ο Καντέλ έχει μια οργανικότητα, μια καθαρότητα και μια σαφήνεια.
Όταν έχει διηγηθεί αυτή την ιστορί
Derek Davis
Nov 02, 2011 Derek Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 02, 2010 Ashvin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 30, 2008 Dia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 27, 2013 Biser Hong rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 01, 2016 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I skipped many parts of the book, simply because of the sinusoidal nature of the the text. To be more precise, the author has presented a melange of his autobiography together with elaborations on how his research work has led him to Noble prize in physiological basis of memory. But, unfortunately this mixture is quite dull and at times baffling. I read a lot about neuroscience and I enjoy the subject.
This book can be very informative if one just focuses on the science, however, I still think t
Sep 19, 2016 Madhan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sasha Chewohin
Большинство из нас охотно готово принять результаты экспериментальных научных исследований в их приложении к другим частям тела: например, нас не смущает знание того, что сердце не является вместилищем чувств, что это мышечный орган, который качает кровь по кровеносной системе. Однако сама мысль о том, что человеческое сознание и духовное начало происходят из работы материального органа, мозга, для многих оказывается новой и пугающей. Им сложно поверить, что мозг представляет собой вычислительны ...more
Alejandro Ramirez
Sep 15, 2016 Alejandro Ramirez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
1. Quoting Semir Zeki: "At first glance, the problem of integration may seem quite simple. Logically it demands nothing more than that all of the signals from the specialized visual areas be brought together, to 'report' the result of their operations to a single master cortical area. This master area would then synthesize the information coming from all these diverse sources and provide us with the final image, or so one might think. But the brain has it's own logic... If all the visual areas r ...more
Calvin Yuan
Jun 01, 2016 Calvin Yuan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a second year compter science student who just got started on research and neuroscience, In Search of Memory provides me with abundant insights on both how to conduct proper research and how the field progressed from 1990s.

Kandel is an excellent narrator who can switch from personal life stories to academic interests. smoothly Despite the trend of separating work and life, the reality forces these two to stay together. Candle's combination of both work and life gives me a real sense of how p
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 it was amazing  ·  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
Dec 29, 2012 Kelly Peters rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Stephen Kane
In the last 10 years neuroscience has asserted itself into all fields of study. I first got hooked by Oliver Sachs, who introduced us to worlds and senses we did not know existed. But Kandel's In Search of Memory introduced me to the science.

Not only does Kandel explain things in a way that allows the layman to understand what is going on, he makes one understand the thrill, the adventure, the imagination and the sheer joy of scientific exploration. Reading this book made me feel the largeness o
Mar 01, 2015 Giulia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 28, 2016 Jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You will never love anyone or anything as deeply as Eric Kandel loves his Aplysia snails. Of that much, I am certain.

Kandel is an ambitious, hard-working, undeniably intelligent neuroscientist-psychoanalyst-biologist. The multiple hyphenates are indicative of the many disciplinary fields Kandel's journey goes through, in order to pursue his 'science of mind'. There is no shortage of confidence for this man, who doggedly jumps from one scientific specialty to another, to chase after the next nur
Nov 07, 2014 Wersly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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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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