‘Philosophically speaking, we can never fully trust our memory’

By: Andrew Anthony | ‘Philosophically speaking, we can never fully trust our memory’ | Neuroscience | The Guardian

Sisters Hilde and Ylva Østby, a neuropsychologist and a novelist, have written a book exploring the true nature of memory. What can their findings tell us?

Of all the mysteries of the mind, perhaps none is greater than memory. Why do we remember some things and forget others? What is memory’s relationship to consciousness and our identities? Where and how is memory stored? How reliable are our memories? And why did our memory evolve to be so rich and detailed?

In a sense there are two ways of looking at memory: the literary and the scientific. There is the Proustian model in which memory is about meaning, an exploration of the self, a subjective journey into the past. And then there is the analytical model, where memory is subjected to neurological study, psychological experiments and magnetic resonance imaging.

Related: How to avoid losing your memory in the digital age

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