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  • Print publication year: 2017
  • Online publication date: May 2018

Preface

Summary

The human brain and memory are two of the most complex and fascinating systems in existence. Within the last two decades, the cognitive neuroscience of memory has begun to thrive with the advent of techniques that can non-invasively measure human brain activity with high spatial resolution and high temporal resolution.

This is the first book to provide a comprehensive treatment of the cognitive neuroscience of memory. It is related to three classes of other books. First, textbooks on cognitive psychology or cognition provide broad overviews of the cognitive psychology of memory and therefore only consider a small fraction of the work on the cognitive neuroscience of memory. Second, textbooks on cognitive neuroscience provide broad overviews of the entire field and also consider only a small fraction of the work on memory. Third, more specialized books on memory focus on the cognitive psychology, the behavioral neuroscience, or the computational modeling of memory rather than the cognitive neuroscience of memory.

This book highlights temporal processing in the brain. Cognitive neuroscientists predominantly use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify the brain regions associated with a cognitive process. Although fMRI has excellent spatial resolution, this method provides little if any information about the time at which brain regions are active or the way in which different brain regions interact. By emphasizing both spatial and temporal aspects of brain processing, this book provides a complete overview of the cognitive neuroscience of memory and aims to guide the future of memory research.

Each chapter is written in an accessible style and includes background information and many figures. Debated topics are discussed throughout the text. The most popular view is routinely questioned rather than simply assumed to be correct, as is done in the vast majority of textbooks. In this way, science is depicted as open to question, evolving, and exciting.

The audience for this book is educated lay people interested in the cognitive neuroscience of memory and undergraduate students, graduate students, and scientists who are interested in a comprehensive up-to-date treatment of this topic. Each chapter includes learning objectives, an introduction, sections on key topics, a summary, review questions, and recommended scientific articles.