2 Jul
Posted in: Books
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Seeing Is Remembering

This from Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day, by Diane Ackerman, another serendipitous find from the stacks of the Chapel Hill Public Library:

Brain-mapping shows that two-thirds of vision is memory, not what’s happening in the occipital lobes! When I see a magnolia branch, my brain provides an image of the full tree, when I hear a rat-a-tat-tat, my brain riffles through its images for a woodpecker viewed one morning last fall.

“Memories are always true to the moment of recall. Each time we haul them up from the brain’s sloshy attic, we primp and prune them in terms of the here and now, and store them as slightly different mementos.

As we grow and change, each memory adapts so that we feel real and fuel a continuous sense of self. And so every generation experiences a unique version of history, and everyone revises memories over time.”

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