Memory and the Brain

Memory and the Brain

Memory and the Brain

Memory and the Brain

Excerpt

In this book I attempt to do two things. First, I try to identify the psychological operations we must perform to perceive something, recall or recognize it, grasp its meaning and respond to it. Second, I try to trace and identify the brain structures and pathways that make such psychological operations possible.

Memory is not an isolated process. It depends on perception, is influenced by emotion and imagination and embedded in the whole sequence from perception to action. Without memory, there can be no perception as we experience it, no learning, no motivated action. We cannot discover how memory is registered and recalled unless we know where it occurs in this sequence. To discover where memory fits in, we must analyze the total psychological sequence and identify the individual links. What I try to do in this book is to outline the brain structures and pathways that mediate each link in the chain and sketch their operations during psychological activities. That is the sum and substance of my theory of brain function. I hope to show that it is supported by a great deal of experimental and clinical evidence.

This theory was first published in my book Emotion and Personality (1960). It had been formulated on the basis of neuropsychological research published before 1958. During the first few years, all my attempts to trace a connected brain circuit that would mediate psychological activities from perception to action proved unsuccessful. Every new research report disproved one or the other hypothesis. But once I had worked out the present theory, everything fell into place and every new research report supported it. The functions I ascribe to various brain structures (e.g., association cor-

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