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

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  3,307 Ratings  ·  166 Reviews
Nobel Prize winner Kandel intertwines cogntive psychology, neuroscience, and molecular biology with his own quest to understand memory.
Hardcover, 430 pages
Published March 13th 2006 by W. W. Norton (first published 2006)
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Lewis Weinstein
Feb 20, 2012 Lewis Weinstein rated it really liked it
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
Mar 14, 2009 Gerald rated it it was amazing
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
Morgan Blackledge
Feb 17, 2013 Morgan Blackledge rated it really liked it
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
Dec 28, 2010 Patricia 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
Feb 18, 2015 Anca rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 01, 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
Jun 10, 2014 Ebnarabi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hardcopy
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.
Oct 05, 2007 Piotr rated it liked it
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
Dec 20, 2009 Mag rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 13, 2014 Fazlollah rated it really liked it
به خاطر ترجمهاش 4 از 5 میدم در غیر این صورت ریتش 5 هست. ...more
Kayson Fakhar
Jul 27, 2014 Kayson Fakhar rated it it was amazing
نزدیک ۵۰۰ صفحه اطلاعات هیجان انگیز و انقلابی.
Jan 07, 2013 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.
Konstantin Okonechnikov
May 21, 2017 Konstantin Okonechnikov rated it it was amazing
The book provides a perfect explanation how difficult it is to be a real scientist and how to combine so many factors in life and research. A perfect motivation. And also with strong bias in my topic of interest: everything about memory.
Jul 11, 2015 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
Jan 12, 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
Dec 30, 2008 Dia rated it really liked it
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
Derek Davis
Nov 02, 2011 Derek Davis rated it it was amazing
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
May 26, 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.
Biser Hong
Dec 14, 2013 Biser Hong rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 13, 2012 Nancy added it
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.
Kelly Peters
Dec 29, 2012 Kelly Peters rated it really liked it
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!
Jul 09, 2011 Biogeek rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 19, 2016 Robert rated it it was amazing
The natural sciences, abetted by technologies they themselves have made possible, have become increasingly difficult for lay people to understand. There are even a few twentieth century idioms that express this gulf: when we want to say something isn't particularly hard, we can say "well, it's not rocket science" or "well, it's not brain surgery."

If we're going to ascend the heights of domains like astrophysics or neuroscience, then, those of us not fortunate enough to have studied the fields n
Corey Kelly
May 25, 2017 Corey Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
I'll admit I only read about half of this book due to a paper I had to write on the action potential, but from what I read this book is a very well written documentation on the history of many neuro related subjects. Eric Kandel does a great job outlining his research and gives credit where credit is due. When I have more time to leisurely read I will definitely finish this book.
Gorf Sharp
Jan 31, 2017 Gorf Sharp rated it it was amazing
The book and the author will never be forgotten. I owe you so much, Eric. One of those people that I never want you to die.
Metin Tiryaki
Jun 14, 2017 Metin Tiryaki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
Bilimsel ve otobiyografik bir çalışma. Dili ağır ve biraz ders kitabı havasında. Bunu okumadan önce beyin ve nörolojiye giriş seviyesinde bir kaç kitap okunursa faydalı olur, yoksa sıkılabilirsiniz.
Oct 27, 2016 Yaru rated it liked it
Fascinating science. Dull autobiography.
Sep 18, 2016 Madhan rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 18, 2017 Groot rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
A spectacular book. I've read a lot of books about the brain, the mind, cognitive science, memory, etc., and this is among the top two or three. He writes with crystal clarity about many areas you might not be familiar, like molecular gene expression, but never loses you or seems anything but conversationally interesting.

After winning the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology, he was asked to write an autobiographical sketch. This is a book-length expansion of that, and so this also contains sto
Mar 11, 2017 yis rated it it was amazing
Cell biology meets behavioural analysis meets genetically engineered mice meets nazi germany meets promiscuous au pair.
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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...

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“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.” 3 likes
“philosophical inquiries (the reflections of specially trained observers on the nature of their own patterns of thought) or the insights of great novelists, such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Leo Tolstoy. Those are the readings that inspired my first years at Harvard. But, as I learned from Ernst Kris, neither trained introspection nor creative insights would lead to the systematic accretion of knowledge needed for the foundation of a science of mind. That sort of foundation requires more than insight, it requires experimentation. Thus, it was the remarkable successes of experimental science in astronomy, physics, and chemistry that spurred students of mind to devise experimental” 3 likes
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