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Memory and the Human Lifespan Lecture

Memory and the Human Lifespan

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Publisher's Summary

What if your memory suddenly vanished, so that you could no longer summon recollections of anything at all? What if you couldn't even remember yourself - not your name, your school, where you worked, or even the face of the total stranger staring back at you from the mirror?

If all of your memories were gone, would "self" even have a meaning? The truth is that while you may think of human memory as a capacity - a way to call up important facts or episodes from your past - it is much, much more, a collection of systems that provide the continuity of consciousness that allows the concept of "you" to make sense, creating the ongoing narrative that makes your life truly yours. This intriguing series of 24 lectures by an honored researcher and teacher explains not only how the various aspects of your memory operate, but the impact memory has on your daily experience of life.

By understanding how the brain organizes and encodes information, you can better harness its extraordinary powers to fine-tune how it works for you and use this information to help reshape your very experience of being alive.

The lectures explore topics like: the different kinds of systems that make memory possible; how those systems work together to build and access memories of specific events, solve problems, learn basic tasks like brushing your teeth, or acquire the skills to play a musical instrument; the kinds of memory deficits that result when various parts of the brain are damaged or deteriorate; how memory shapes not only your experience of the past but also of the present, as well as your expectations of the future; and how your memory systems develop throughout your life.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2011 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2011 The Great Courses

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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Kathy Yong
    6/05/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Engaging and interesting"

    Since I have a person with Alzheimer's in my family, I am interested in all resources that have to do with memory. The course had me engaged from the first chapter with real life examples , exercises and facts. I love the great courses, but I tend to take my time listening to them, however, this course I finished in 2 days. I actually plan on listening to this again soon.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • CAS
    16/05/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Generally good"

    Parts, especially the earlier chapters, were very helpful and interesting. The chapter on dementia was quite disappointing as the lecturer seems to have abandoned describing brain changes in favor of a much more general description of the disease.
    Reading was clear and pace was good, but sometimes he placed too much emphasis on too many words in sentences, just as is done on nightly news shows in the U.S, making the overall effect numbing.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Douglas
    Auburn, WA, United States
    12/09/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another Fantastic Course!..."

    I have spent the last few weeks listening to nearly a dozen Great Courses lecture series on the brain, the mind and the ways that thought and memory help us to adapt to the world around us, making for a more pleasurable and useful life. I just finished Craig Heller's course on sleep, and since much of that was on sleep's effects on learning and memory, much of the material dovetails nicely here. It would also work very well listened to in conjunction with Steven Novalla's The Deceptive Mind, which deals with much of the same material, just from a slightly different angle. Joordens enlightens us with the way that memories are encoded and stored and the way memory enhances our lives and makes us who we are. He educates us in regard to how the memory process and memories themselves change with the age of the person remembering--or not remembering. He shares with us the amazing accuracy of our memories, but also the way they can be corrupted and changed. This latter is especially important with the recent resurgence of reports of false memories in regard to supposed "satanic ritual abuse" being implanted in patients by unscrupulous and/or incompetent "therapists" and horribly unscientific (and poorly written) books like the "Dr." Phil publicized 22 Faces or the older, but equally bad and deceptive Michelle Remembers. Do false memories exist? Of course they do. And they are incredibly easy to get started. You can even plant a false memory in yourself!--like I did. I have told a particular story in a writing class I do focused on Theories Of Morality in which I demonstrate the ignorance and bias back of racism. It is a true story--sort of. For 11 years, I had told the story as happening to me--when it really happened to someone else. It began innocently enough. I didn't want to begin a story with something awkward like "now this happened to someone else, but..." so for facility, I simply put myself into the narrator's position. After 11 years and at least 88 re-tellings, I REALLY BELIEVED IT HAD HAPPENED TO ME! I would have sworn in a court of law that it had. I could have passed a lie detector test. I still see it all very clearly in my head--HAPPENING TO ME!--even now that I know better. It took telling the story to the person it DID really happen to--and her claiming the story--for me to actually remember that it did not happen to me. But it is still there so clearly--a vivid technicolor movie in my head--with me as the star.

    44 of 50 people found this review helpful
  • Matt Mandel
    7/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Informative and inciteful. DEFINITELY worth your time!"

    Steve Joordens' "Memory and the Human Life Span" is one of my favorite lecture series to date. Nothing he says is particularly mind-blowing, but the overall content and presentation is very engaging. It's also great because you can both listen to it casually (while doing something else) or intently and still take something worthwhile away with you.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lorena Nathan
    16/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing!"

    I strongly recommend this book! I enjoyed every chapter and I was able to understand and learn more about memory and how to help myself.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Goutham
    29/06/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it"

    Very well told. Lots of complex things told in a crisp and easier way.
    Would love to read more from this author.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Melanie
    Cobbs Creek, VA, United States
    5/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Finally, Understanding."

    Excellent source for how it all comes together inside the brain. It's great to understand how the mind and the brain are one. I feel as if a lifelong mystery has been revealed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stout Yeti
    14/07/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I am a TBI Survivor w/new insight of who/how I am"

    I gained so much insight on my life through this book. See, I suffered a TBI a few years back. A side effect after a TBI is that you now have several doctors that assist you through recovery. I never quite understood the explanation from my doctors about exactly why my brain works the way it does, post TBI.

    After going through this book over and over and over. I was able see and understand the full picture of how, why, and who I am today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Somerset, MA USA
    13/04/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "OK, but hardly memorable"
    Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Steve Joordens?

    Nah, I'm OK without it.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Use memory clues. This course got too scientific for average readers.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Steve Joordens’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    N/A


    Was Memory and the Human Lifespan worth the listening time?

    Barely. I have an interest in memory for many reasons. However, this focused too much on scientific details related to memory.


    Any additional comments?

    Take away was why people forget vs. how people can remember better.

    8 of 18 people found this review helpful
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  • Metaltoe
    5/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating!"
    If you could sum up Memory and the Human Lifespan in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating, absorbing, useful.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Memory and the Human Lifespan?

    Not applicable . . . it's a series of 30 minute lectures. All very interesting.


    What does Professor Steve Joordens bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    I think it is a great experience to listen to these lectures. Steve Joordans is likeable, natural and relaxed, never too serious. I enjoyed listening to him very much.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    not applicable!


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed all of it and learned a lot about how memory works and also tips to look after your memory processes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Santiago Ruiz-Valdepeñas Martín de Almagro
    Madrid, Spain
    15/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great depth and scope"

    I really enjoyed this course. Lectures are memorable, thought provoking, and have a tremendous scope, from practical memory techniques to brain anatomy to aging and more. Recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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