Ask HN: What are some of the best books you’ve read about memory and the brain?

Like I’m sure a lot of people on here, I’m fascinated by the inner workings of the brain and in particular how memory works. Looking for solid scientific content without going full textbook.




Eye brain vision by Hubell

On intelligence.


I really loved Why We Sleep by PhD Walker. It's not specific about the brain, but it does go over how sleep improves memory and learning


From what I heard here on HackerNews itself, that book is not 100% accurate. In fact some said that there were lot of errors in that book. So anyone planning to read it, I suggest keep verifying things to get your facts right. Will be a painful process, but better to learn the right things than have wrong info for something as critical as sleep.


I found David Eagleman's books, especially Incognito, to be really good introduction to how the brain works.

"Proust was a Neuroscientist" is a delightful look at how non-scientists throughout history (artists, dancers, writers) have intuited truths about how parts of the brain work that have since been proven by science.


I like "Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are" by Joseph Ledoux. It's less pop science and gets into some detail about how our neurons work at the cellular level. He's not afraid to use doodles to communicate ideas and I found the whole thing a really pleasant read as a neuroscience undergraduate student. The only thing worth noting is it's from 2002, so it's drawing on older research and examples from the field.


If you ever come across something similar material but much more updated, do mention in this thread. I have set an alert for this thread, will come to know.

Thanks in Advance.




While the other recommendations are great, they are more psychologically focused.

Check out Eric Kandel's "In Search of Memory". I really can't recommend it enough. He talks about his early work with aplysia and contemporary research into the basis of memory.


Marvin Minsky's "The Society of Mind". Nice web version [1]



The Other Brain by R. Douglas Fields was really good. It tells the story of glia which make up 85% of the brain


Pragmatic Thinking and Learning, Thinking Fast & Slow and Predictably Irrational are the first that come to mind for me.


On Intelligence, by Hawkins.


I'm very interested in cognitive biases, some of the writing in that area has some interesting takeaways on the pitfalls of memory:

- _Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me)_ - Tavris & Aronson

- _Thinking, Fast and Slow_ - Kahneman

Both of these are more "popular science" writing than "solid scientific" writing, however.


I'm aware of how usefull and mind-opening Kahneman's "Thinking, Fast and Slow" is. However one should know that a lot of the experiments done to corroborate the books arguments are underpowered and people were unable to replicate a bunch of them. So don't take the books ideas too seriously and allow for much more nuance than the arguments allows.


100%. I take many of the specific results with a grain of salt but I think the general themes are well founded. I think about WYSIATI every day



What now?


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