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Why Life Speeds Up As You Get Older: How Memory Shapes our Past

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9780521834247: Why Life Speeds Up As You Get Older: How Memory Shapes our Past
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Is it true, as the novelist Cees Nooteboom once wrote, that 'Memory is like a dog that lies down where it pleases'? Where do the long, lazy summers of our childhood go? Why is it that as we grow older time seems to condense, speed up, elude us, while in old age significant events from our distant past can seem as vivid and real as what happened yesterday? In this enchanting and thoughtful book, Douwe Draaisma, author of the internationally acclaimed Metaphors of Memory, explores the nature of autobiographical memory. Applying a unique blend of scholarship, poetic sensibility and keen observation he tackles such extraordinary phenomena as déjà-vu, near-death experiences, the memory feats of idiot-savants and the effects of extreme trauma on memory recall. Raising almost as many questions as it answers, this fascinating book will not fail to touch you at the same time as it educates and entertains.

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Review:

'It is a joy to read with chapters on déjà vu, savants, trauma and first to last memories, providing a fresh and cogent look at how and why we remember.' Publishing News

'Douwe Draaisma, a historian of psychology based in the Netherlands, has set out to report on a medley of scientific accounts of memory and experienced time with an eye for the bizarre. The result is a potpourri of a book, incorporating philosophy, neuroscience, case history, research, potted biography.' Sunday Times

'This is a book of many metaphors and some explanations, beautifully written and engaging from beginning to end.' The Oldie Magazine

'... full of fascinating, sexy, scientific concepts.' The Times

'... delightful ... His concerns range from the extraordinary memories and calculating powers of so-called idiot savants to the strange sensation of déjà vu, and the 'flashbulb memory' that apparently enables so many of us to recall what we were doing when we first heard of Diana's death (or in my case, Thatcher's resignation). It is for the richness of these anecdotes, and the sophistication with which he weaves them into his account, that Draaisma's book makes such a pleasing read.' The Guardian

'... a highly readable and erudite account of autobiographical memory ... A rich book for holiday reading.' Scientific and Medical Network

'Draaisma's exploration of how our lives are shaped by the remembered past is a wry and literate investigation of the history of psychology and of the human condition. The result is informative, amusing and moving. Long after you close it, it leaves a good memory.' New Scientist

'... one finishes the book with a heightened awareness of the complexity and the fickleness of human memory, and a genuine sense of pleasure at having encountered such a subtle, entertaining, and illuminating guide to the territory.' The Times Literary Supplement

'... fascinating.' Independent

'... clarity and accessibility for a general audience ... He is a terrific writer, whose erudition and passion for the topic are apparent in every page.' Nature Medicine

Book Description:

In this enchanting and thoughtful book (shortlisted for the 2005 Aventis Prize), Douwe Draaisma, author of the internationally acclaimed Metaphors of Memory, explores the nature of autobiographical memory and extraordinary phenomena such as the memory feats of idiot-savants or the effects of extreme trauma on memory recall.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781107646261: Why Life Speeds Up as You Get Older: How Memory Shapes our Past (Canto Classics)

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ISBN 10: 110764626X ISBN 13: 9781107646261
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 2012
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9780521691994: Why Life Speeds Up As You Get Older: How Memory Shapes our Past

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