In the Palaces of Memory: How We Build the Worlds inside Our Heads

By George Johnson

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Even as you read these words, a tiny portion of your brain is physically changing. New connections are being sprouted -- a circuit that will create a stab of recognition if you encounter the words again. That is one of the theories of memory presented in this intriguing and splendidly readable book, which distills three researchers' inquiries into the processes that enable us to recognize a face that has aged ten years or remember a melody for decades. Ranging from experiments performed on the "wetware" of the brain to attempts to re-create human cognition in computers, In the Palaces of Memory is science writing at its most exciting.

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