Nuancing the Neuron: A Review of 'The Memory Process: Neuroscientific and Humanistic Perspectives' by Suzanne Nalbantian, Paul M. Matthews, and James L. McClelland (Eds.)
The Memory Process, edited by Suzanne Nalbantian, Paul M. Matthews, and James L. McClelland, is an intriguing and well-written book that provides a groundbreaking overview of diverse approaches to understanding memory that sets the agenda for an interdisciplinary approach to the topic. Memory has long been a focus of investigation and interest in both the sciences and the humanities. The way memory enriches and distorts lived experience has been widely explored in literature and the arts. Our
... scination with the subject is increasingly evident in popular culture, with the widespread proliferation of novels and movies in which events play out in a nonlinear fashion that reflects how memories of them are woven together in the minds of the characters involved. Scientific approaches to memory have focused on the study of amnesiacs, neuroimaging studies, and cognitive studies of the formation, retrieval, and forgetting of memories. Until now, however, humanistic and scientific investigations of memory have been carried out independently. This book provides an exemplary illustration of how disciplinary boundaries can be transcended, showing how approaches to memory from the humanities and the sciences can revitalize one another. With 19 chapters written by academics from a range of disciplines including neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry, cognitive science, cultural studies, philosophy, bioethics, history of science, art, theatre, film, and literature, it is undoubtedly one of the most interdisciplinary books on library shelves. Together these diverse perspectives provide a broad and stimulating overview of the memory process.