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Summary

If we lose our memories, are we still ourselves? Is identity merely a collection of electrical impulses? What separates us from animals, or from computers?

From Plato to Westworld, these questions have fascinated and befuddled philosophers, artists, and scientists for centuries. In The Forgetting Machine, neuroscientist Rodrigo Quiroga explains how the mechanics of memory illuminates these discussions, with implications for everything from understanding Alzheimer's disease to the technology of artificial intelligence.

You'll also learn about the research behind what Quiroga coined "Jennifer Aniston neurons" - cells in the human brain that are responsible for representing specific concepts, such as recognizing a certain celebrity's face. The discovery of these neurons opens new windows into the workings of human memory.

In this accessible, fascinating look at the science of remembering, you'll learn how we turn perceptions into memories, how language shapes our experiences, and the crucial role forgetting plays in human recollection. You'll see how electricity, chemistry, and abstraction combine to form something more than the human brain - the human mind. And you'll gain surprising insight into what our brains can tell us about who we are.

The Forgetting Machine takes us on a journey through science and science fiction, philosophy, and identity, using what we know about how we remember (and forget) to explore the very roots of what makes us human.

©2017 Rodrigo Quian Quiroga (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Profile Image for Rob & Nikki
  • Rob & Nikki
  • 03-12-20

needs a trigger warning

needs a trigger warning, there is a detailed scene about sexual violence. Do not listen if you have ptsd

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Silvio Tannert
  • 30-09-20

It totally worth the time

From all books I have listen to, this has been one of the most well achieved. The narrative is great and you easily engage with the story. In general, it’s well structured and the autor makes his point clear enough. Although, sometimes I felt like listening to a summary of issues regarding the history of memory, it has its reasons.
I would have appreciated if the author would have extended a bit more in the actual topic and explanation of his main topics (e.g., concept neurons). Unfortunately, it’s very loose and just comes at the last chapter of the book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Brane
  • 22-02-21

You are what your memory tells you

Yes, good listen. I can't remember anything from that book because I'm limited to how much my brain can store..... If you read or listened to this book you get it, you get it.

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Profile Image for Blue777
  • Blue777
  • 07-02-21

A cognitive phycology book on memory

A great book on memory and how best to use it. Covers loci, cells that fire together wire together, memory experiments done , schemas, how memory is meaning and context dependant. Good cognitive phycology book.

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  • Michael Castilla
  • 05-02-21

A quick and informative read/listen

This was a fascinating listen about neurology and the human brain. It explores the question what is consciousnesses in an intelligent and interesting way. It is never dull and before you know you have finished the book with a sense of being more enlightened.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-01-21

I wish that I was smarter

I enjoyed the book and I think that the author did his best to make complex topics as simple as possible. unfortunately, he lost me with some explanations. I is a good read and very informative.

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  • JT5D
  • 16-01-21

Incredible

Inspirational & brilliant. Insightful & far-reaching. This book is a must-read for those interested in the inner-workings of the mind!

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  • Manuel P.
  • 11-01-21

memoria en el cerebro

me encanta la temática y muy bien explicado el proceso de nuestra memoria sobre todo el proceso visual. me gustaría de todo formas que se extienda aún más en cada punto.

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  • Jocko
  • 02-01-21

Perfect title — for a brain that protects us from ourselves

The opening line was from the Blade Runner ending scene which is burned in my mind since the early eighties . Can we be so arrogant to think our mere mortal brains have the vivid recollection of a cyborg. Obviously the answer is no! Along with the understanding that our Physiology is not built that way .
You have to pay attention to some ramblings.. and frankly the end was not tied off cohesively, although Overall thank you for writhing it. Written three years ago is still relent.

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  • Matthew Boyle
  • 28-12-20

nice short read

an enjoyable read, that covered the subject with just enough information to keep it engaging. a great overview of some complicated material.