Cover image for Memories are made of this : how memory works in humans and animals
Memories are made of this : how memory works in humans and animals
Bourtchouladze, Rusiko.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Columbia University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
viii, 199 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QP406 .B675 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Memory enables us to make experience meaningful and to form coherent identities for ourselves and intelligible perceptions of others. Indeed, our ability to imagine, anticipate, and create the future is directly commensurate with our ability to retrieve and recollect past experiences. But for all its vital importance in human cognition, for all that it seems so ordinary and obvious, memory remains in many ways as complex and mysterious today as it seemed to ancient philosophers. We need only to think about the "tip-of-the-tongue" experience to wonder how memories are formed, where they reside in our brains, and why some are retained, while others are forgotten. What is the difference between long- and short-term memory? Can memory be strengthened? Memories Are Made of This is an account of current memory science that offers answers to these and a host of other questions, comprehensively distilling much diverse and rigorous science. It delves into the biology of memory functions and researches into the mechanics and genetics of memory and the importance of emotions, particularly those resulting from trauma, in the memory process. Of special focus are investigations of cognition in other species. Are we the only animals who remember and forget? If not, are there commonalties in the memories of different species? The book also surveys our understanding of the effects of injury and disease on memory and concludes with an assessment of emerging pharmacological efforts to preserve and protect our memories and, in turn, ourselves.

Author Notes

Rusiko Bourtchouladze is a director of model systems at Helicon Therapeutics, Inc., and a visiting staff scientist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Bourtchouladze's major scientific work so far has demonstrated that short-term and long-term memories are separate systems. The path to that discovery was technical, but she describes it lucidly, writing considerably more smoothly and thoughtfully than many other scientists who write for general readers, conveying the excitement of science, and in her historical accounts of related fields, bringing researchers and their work to life. Protein synthesis, genes, and many other factors impinging upon memory are there to be discovered: most of her readers will aquire a much better understanding of how the field got to this point. Much is still to be discovered about the workings of the many types of memory, however, and Bourtchouladze points out gaps in our knowledge as she proceeds. Toward the end of this engaging book, she observes that "memory is what makes it possible for us to live but not to exist." Meanwhile, she has made us appreciate what the lives of some scientists are all about. --William Beatty

Table of Contents

Translator's Introduction Author's Introduction to the English Edition The Emergence of the Issue
1 The Course and Conditions of the Establishment of the Military Comfort Station System: From the First Shanghai Incident to the Start of All-Out War in China
2 Expansion Into Southeast Asia and the Pacific: The Period of the Asia Pacific War
3 How Were the Women Rounded Up? Comfort Women's Testimonies and Soldiers' Recollections
4 The Lives Comfort Women Were Forced to Lead
5 Violations of International Law and War Crime Trials
6 Conditions After the Defeat