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The Mind of a Mnemonist

The Mind of a Mnemonist

A Little Book about a Vast Memory, With a New Foreword by Jerome S. Bruner

A. R. Luria

Translated by Lynn Solotaroff

ISBN 9780674576223

Publication date: 04/30/1987

This study explores the inner world of a rare human phenomenon—a man who was endowed with virtually limitless powers of memory. From his intimate knowledge of S., the mnemonist, gained from conversations and testing over a period of almost thirty years, A. R. Luria is able to reveal in rich detail not only the obvious strengths of S.’s astonishing memory but also his surprising weaknesses: his crippling inability to forget, his pattern of reacting passively to life, and his uniquely handicapped personality.

Praise

  • A distinguished Soviet psychologist’s study…[of a] young man who was discovered to have a literally limitless memory and eventually became a professional mnemonist. Experiments and interviews over the years showed that his memory was based on synesthesia (turning sounds into vivid visual imagery), that he could forget anything only by an act of will, that he solved problems in a peculiar crablike fashion that worked, and that he was handicapped intellectually because he could not make discriminations, and because every abstraction and idea immediately dissolved into an image for him. It is all fascinating and delightful.

    —New Yorker

Authors

  • A. R. Luria was Professor of Psychology at Lomonosov Moscow State University.
  • Jerome Bruner was University Professor at New York University.

Book Details

  • 192 pages
  • 5-1/4 x 8 inches
  • Harvard University Press
  • Foreword by Jerome Bruner

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