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Individual and Collective Memory Consolidation: Analogous Processes on Different Levels Hardcover – February 24, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0262017046 ISBN-10: 0262017040

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Editorial Reviews


This book offers an interdisciplinary insight, suggesting the rules of memory consolidation discovered in neuroscience can be fruitfully applied to understand the evolution of collective memory in societies. The authors do a marvelous job of this; as a neuroscientist, I found my views about the neurobiology of memory challenged. I expect this synthesis will, conversely, inspire social scientists to re-think their views on collective memory.

(Howard Eichenbaum, Director, Center for Memory and Brain, Boston University)

How do memories form? Readers of Individual and Collective Memory Consolidation are treated to a deep and probing journey into this important topic. The authors uncover surprising similarities between the formation of individual memories and the formation of collective memories that form in families, nations, and other groups.

(Elizabeth F. Loftus, Distinguished Professor, University of California-Irvine; Former President, Association for Psychological Science)

Individual and Collective Memory Consolidation offers a new synthesis of memory research, integrating theories within fields and building bridges between disciplines. Altogether the authors paint a compelling new picture of the ways in which experience gradually gives rise to knowledge, meaning, and construal, for each of us as individuals and for all of the groups we form.

(James L. McClelland, Lucie Stern Professor and Director, Center for Mind, Brain, and Computation, Stanford University)

Individual and Collective Memory Consolidation constitutes... a clear and well-structured model of memory formation that bridges the gap between individual and collective memory studies.... Because of its clarity, erudition, and constant use of examples, it is apt and very informative for a general public interested in memory issues.


What this book does, and does very well, is establish a firm and consistent analogy between individual and collective memory consolidation.... The cognitive scientist's analytical insights into personal memory formation prove applicable at the group level, while cultural theorists' more intuitive work in collective memory can, in turn, offer a vocabulary and model for describing brain states. The four authors... set themselves a herculean task in aiming to delineate a full-fledged analogy between these two kinds of memory, and they have more than met their own demands.... This is not only a compelling volume on memory, it is also a model of what interdisciplinary scholarship can be.

(H-Net Reviews)

About the Author

Thomas J. Anastasio is Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and member of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Kristen Ann Ehrenberger is an M.D./Ph.D. candidate in History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Patrick Watson is a Ph.D. candidate in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Wenyi Zhang is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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