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Science Cognitive Science


by (author) Fergus Craik & Larry Jacoby

MIT Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2023
Cognitive Science, Cognitive Neuroscience & Cognitive Neuropsychology, Neuroscience
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2023
    List Price

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A short, accessible primer on human memory, its workings, feats, and flaws, by two leading psychological researchers.

Why do we vividly recall a traumatic childhood event but forget where we left our keys five minutes ago? How can a scent take us back fifty years while a colleague’s name eludes us? In this compact introduction, two leading psychological researchers describe memory—how it works and why it sometimes doesn’t; how it can be tricked, trained, or improved; and what changes with time.

In a manner as engaging as it is informative, Fergus Craik and Larry Jacoby explain the strengths and weaknesses of memory. They trace evolving ideas about memory’s function and present a down-to-earth account of modern views. Citing the latest research, they outline the processes for acquiring and retrieving memories and explore the distinction between conscious and unconscious processes. With insights into the workings of the brain, Craik and Jacoby also provide a succinct account of feats and failures of memory, emotion and false memories, and the effects of aging. Their book draws a clear picture, at once broad and concise, of current and classical views of memory, that most essential and often mysterious feature of human life.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

Fergus Craik taught in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto and then worked at the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto until his retirement. He is a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Larry Jacoby was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis. He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.