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Memory, Brain, and Belief

Memory, Brain, and Belief

Edited by Daniel L. Schacter and Elaine Scarry

ISBN 9780674007192

Publication date: 09/30/2001

The scientific research literature on memory is enormous. Yet until now no single book has focused on the complex interrelationships of memory and belief. This book brings together eminent scholars from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, literature, and medicine to discuss such provocative issues as “false memories,” in which people can develop vivid recollections of events that never happened; retrospective biases, in which memories of past experiences are influenced by one’s current beliefs; and implicit memory, or the way in which nonconscious influences of past experience shape current beliefs.

Ranging from cognitive, neurological, and pathological perspectives on memory and belief, to relations between conscious and nonconscious mental processes, to memory and belief in autobiographical narratives, this book will be uniquely stimulating to scholars in several academic disciplines.


  • The decidedly interdisciplinary anthology brings together researchers from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, literature and medicine to discuss the nature of memory and belief… Researchers present interesting results indicating that one’s own memories of the past are strongly influenced by one’s present beliefs, current experience and even nonconscious influences. The picture of memory presented throughout these essays is both fascinating and disquieting… It is uncomfortable to be told that we do not know our own minds and past experiences as well as we think we do, but it makes for captivating reading… An interesting and useful contribution to the growing body of research on memory, belief, and autobiography.

    —James R. Beebe, Metapsychology


  • Daniel L. Schacter is William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Psychology at Harvard University.
  • Elaine Scarry is Professor of English and American Literature and Language at Harvard University.

Book Details

  • 364 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press