Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pieces of Light by Charles Fernyhough

I love fiction, but every once in a while I like to read something science-y, or a little sci-fi-ey or an autobiography.  But now after reading Pieces of Light, I realize that when people are writing their memoirs,  their memory is re-inventing the story each time it is told. Very interesting idea. So the truth of what really happened may not end up the story as written. Author Fernhough is a psychologist who has devoted alot of study to the brain's process of memory.
I wondered if that is why the pain of childbirth dulls over time or why some bad memory of childhood seems to get not so bad later on in life. I wondered if that is why people are able to forgive after a time, if the memory gets re-invented over and over to the point that is doesn't matter anymore? These are some of the questions and answers that Fernhough explores.
The author explores these questions by interviewing his elderly grandmother, he visits his old college campus to see if his memory is still clear, he talks with patients that have had brain trauma.
Be prepared for alot of information about the way the brain processes memories, how sight and smell interact to produce a you can fabricate a memory by hearing a story from someone else.
I enjoyed the book, it was not "light" reading however. It took a while to read, but well worth the effort.