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The Nostalgia Factory: Memory, Time and Ageing

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Douwe Draaisma, a renowned memory specialist, here focuses on memory in later life, explaining neurological phenomena without becoming lost in specialist terminology. His book is reminiscent of Oliver Sacks’s work, and not coincidentally this volume includes a long interview with Sacks, who speaks of his own memory changes as he entered his sixties.


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Douwe Draaisma, a renowned memory specialist, here focuses on memory in later life, explaining neurological phenomena without becoming lost in specialist terminology. His book is reminiscent of Oliver Sacks’s work, and not coincidentally this volume includes a long interview with Sacks, who speaks of his own memory changes as he entered his sixties.

30 review for The Nostalgia Factory: Memory, Time and Ageing

  1. 4 out of 5

    iva°

    koristimo li zbilja tek 10% mozga? kako funkcionira mozak dječaka nica kojem su uklonili 600 g mozga? funkcioniraju li tehnike pamćenja? pogoršava li se sposobnost pamćenja s dobi? u čemu je razlika između staračke zaboravljivosti i demencije? imaju li teškoće s pamćenjem veze s demencijom? što je "kabinet za uspomene"? kako fotografija iz prošlosti utječe na početnu demenciju? zašto su nam neka sjećanja nepouzdana? što je "nostalgie permanente"? i, meni omiljeno: zašto, zapravo, postoje stari ljudi? koj koristimo li zbilja tek 10% mozga? kako funkcionira mozak dječaka nica kojem su uklonili 600 g mozga? funkcioniraju li tehnike pamćenja? pogoršava li se sposobnost pamćenja s dobi? u čemu je razlika između staračke zaboravljivosti i demencije? imaju li teškoće s pamćenjem veze s demencijom? što je "kabinet za uspomene"? kako fotografija iz prošlosti utječe na početnu demenciju? zašto su nam neka sjećanja nepouzdana? što je "nostalgie permanente"? i, meni omiljeno: zašto, zapravo, postoje stari ljudi? koja je evolucijska korist od prisutnosti starih osoba? čitaj i saznaj☺️

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brian Clegg

    The Nostalgia Factory takes on the nature of memory, particularly the memory of those who are in their 60s and older – a subject that will affect most of us, one way or another. Part way through I was going to award this book five stars, and part of the reason for this is the beautifully written translation by Liz Waters. It really was a delight to read. Douwe Draaisma takes us smoothly into the way memories change with time, how memories from youth start to surface more and become more important The Nostalgia Factory takes on the nature of memory, particularly the memory of those who are in their 60s and older – a subject that will affect most of us, one way or another. Part way through I was going to award this book five stars, and part of the reason for this is the beautifully written translation by Liz Waters. It really was a delight to read. Douwe Draaisma takes us smoothly into the way memories change with time, how memories from youth start to surface more and become more important, and the fragile connection between memory and reality. Two parts particularly stick out to my mind (as far as my ageing memory goes) – a powerful assessment of brain training and the whole ‘use it or lose it’ thing, and some fascinating observations on the differences between the way that we see the world in our late teens/early twenties and the way we remember seeing things at that age when we are 30 to 40 years older. The reason I’ve not gone for the whole five stars is that the book is very slow. It makes some points over and over again – it is almost as if the whole thing was a magazine article that has been extended to make a (slim) book. There simply isn’t enough in it. I also found the chapter consisting of an interview with Oliver Sacks excruciating. While Sacks is clearly a hero for Draaisma, pretty well all written interviews are boring, and this was no exception. The only thing I got out of it was seriously downgrading Sacks in my opinion because he is apparently so dependent on his psychoanalyst that he has to have sessions over the phone when not at home. That Sacks believes in this pseudo-science is worrying to say the least. Despite the limitations, though, this is an eloquent and elegant little book with some genuinely interesting (and perhaps worrying for someone in their late 50s) observations about the way memory changes as we get older. Review first published on www.popularscience.co.uk and reproduced with permission.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    3.5 stars. I loved the first part of this book. What is memory? Quote from page viii: "...when you think back to your earliest memory a strange kind of contact is made in the neurological circuits that deal with remembering: the oldest memory becomes the newest for a moment; the first becomes the last." Page xiii: "Much current research into the psychology of memory concerns the reliability of recollections...come to see an event or experience in a different light, so that it no longer means what 3.5 stars. I loved the first part of this book. What is memory? Quote from page viii: "...when you think back to your earliest memory a strange kind of contact is made in the neurological circuits that deal with remembering: the oldest memory becomes the newest for a moment; the first becomes the last." Page xiii: "Much current research into the psychology of memory concerns the reliability of recollections...come to see an event or experience in a different light, so that it no longer means what it meant at the time...A sixty-year old was once twenty, whereas a twenty-year-old has no idea what it is like to be sixty. Nice to know I'm not alone. From page 17: "A memory problem that older people mention...frequently is being unable to find the right word...they...resort to 'whatsit' and 'thingummy'...older people should not let themselves be talked out of the idea that just because they cannot instantly come up with the linguistic term for a word...they nevertheless know more than someone who has never heard of...'Oh yes knowledge' is knowledge too. Page 19: "The problem with names is that they have no inherent meaning...absence of associations means there are no other routes that lead to the name...Relax...accept that there is no reason at all to be ashamed of forgetting names; it is a common ailment." Page 49: "'THE PALEST INK IS MORE RELIABLE THAN THE MOST POWERFUL MEMORY.'" "Much of what is on offer under the heading 'improve your memory' comes down to learning tricks for coping with the effects of decline. Anyone who thinks that such tricks...can actually give them a better memory probably also thinks they would be able to walk better if they used a walking frame. The mantra 'use it or lose it' is true only in its most restricted sense. There is a convincing amount of research to show that the memory will decline if no longer stimulated. The best way to prevent this is to remain active...The good news is that social activities are sufficient. They involve all the variety and challenges needed to keep the memory up to scratch." Page 52: "There is much reassurance to be derived from insight into the differences between dementia and the forgetfulness of old age. The latter falls within the limits of what is natural and normal, and practically all elderly people suffer from it to some extent. Dementia is a disease. Forgetfulness is annoying and troublesome but does not turn you into an invalid, whereas dementia does...dementia also affects the capacity to do everyday things: to get dressed, to make coffee or to drive a car." Page 123: "Writing about W.H. as a school chum...Grass cannot ignore what he now knows about the course of W's life then and later...memories...are both charged and illuminated by what followed, and this has turned them into different memories. They are no longer available in their original form. Do we underestimate the extent to which memories change and vanish? It seems probable that we do."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Wiebe Buis

    Douwe Draaisma is a great writer who presents psychological issues and topics in a very clear and elegant way. More important: in a humouristic way, with lots of quotes and references from literature. I like this guy and not only because he's of Frisian descent ;-). Douwe Draaisma is a great writer who presents psychological issues and topics in a very clear and elegant way. More important: in a humouristic way, with lots of quotes and references from literature. I like this guy and not only because he's of Frisian descent ;-).

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ufuk Beyazova

    Sıla Hasreti Fabrikası/Douwe Draaisma   ''Yaşlı olduğu insanın yüzüne  söylenmez. Yaşlı olan başkalarıdır, bizimle aynı yaşta olsalar bile''. Bir psikolog olan yazar bellek yaşlılıkta nasıl işler sorusunun yanıtını arıyor. İnsanlar yaşlandıkça çocukluk ve gençlikte yaşadıklarını daha net hatırlamaya başlıyorlar. Çoğu yazar özyaşam öykülerini 60 yaşından sonra kaleme alıyor. Anılar niye ille de bellek yaşlanınca gösteriyorlar kendilerini? Bu eski anıları geri getiren aslında nedir? Bu dönüş ne zaman Sıla Hasreti Fabrikası/Douwe Draaisma   ''Yaşlı olduğu insanın yüzüne  söylenmez. Yaşlı olan başkalarıdır, bizimle aynı yaşta olsalar bile''. Bir psikolog olan yazar bellek yaşlılıkta nasıl işler sorusunun yanıtını arıyor. İnsanlar yaşlandıkça çocukluk ve gençlikte yaşadıklarını daha net hatırlamaya başlıyorlar. Çoğu yazar özyaşam öykülerini 60 yaşından sonra kaleme alıyor. Anılar niye ille de bellek yaşlanınca gösteriyorlar kendilerini? Bu eski anıları geri getiren aslında nedir? Bu dönüş ne zaman başlar? Üzücü anılar da güzel anılar kadar kolay hatırlanılır mı? Kişinin erken dönemde yaşadığı şeyi iyi hatırlaması biyolojik olgunluk meselesi midir? Yoksa yaşamın ilk yıllarında daha mı çok hatırlanmaya değer olay yaşanır? Hayatın geç dönemine ait anılar bunca az olduğu için mi erken döneme ait anılar bu kadar çoktur? Hatırlama bir kez ortaya çıkınca yaşın ilerlemesiyle birlikte daha da güçlenir mi? Unutkanlık yaşlılığın bir parçası mıdır? Bellek antremanı yapılabilir mi? Yazar bu sorulara yanıt vermeye çalışıyor. Yaşlılıkta bellek hakkında bilimsel ve nitelikli bir kitap.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    怀旧制造厂 知道这本书纯属偶然,之前逛书店看到作者另一本书时间的慰藉,看了一点不错,可惜只有繁体版太贵没买,然后我搜索这个作家,发现原来国内出版过他的书,并且滞销了,买到手里也是二手书八九成新。 这本可买可不买吧,我还买了他另外两本书有时间再看。喜欢那些让人对变老记忆有关话题增长新认识的结论。 1.30 在研究阅读与记忆实验表明,对人有影响力的书籍一般都是20岁左右读的,之后阅读习惯改变开始寻找符合自己想法的书籍。 这是人的成长记忆能力曲线决定的。所以????我以后怪不得读的书都会感觉平平,难以沉浸其中让人惊艳。 ​ 2.8 人到了六十岁左右的时候,对童年的记忆会突然变得清晰。一种生理现象。 一般百岁老人,对八十岁之后的二十年很少有什么记忆,所以人老了都是活在回忆里吧,以及对抗日常健康问题的琐碎,活的后面时间好像没什么意义。 ​

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andy Plonka

    While the information contained in this small book is interesting, it doesn't make me happy to be getting older, and I think there are things that can be done to enhance one's memory skills as one ages like use your brain and dust off some of those older neural pathways. While the information contained in this small book is interesting, it doesn't make me happy to be getting older, and I think there are things that can be done to enhance one's memory skills as one ages like use your brain and dust off some of those older neural pathways.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marmite

    Twijfelde tussen 3 of 4 sterren, toch 4. Er zit wellicht wat veel herhaling in, maar Draaisma heeft iets te vertellen en doet dat met verve. Het laatste hoofdstuk, de heimwee fabriek, is een schitterende afsluiting van zo'n 300 pagina's over het geheugen, de herinnering, ouder worden en vergeten. "In de ouderdom kom je tot de conclusie dat je, zonder je ooit te hebben aangemeld, zonder dat je er zelfs maar erg in had, toch door een emigratiecentrale bent uitgezonden. Ook als je bleef zitten waar Twijfelde tussen 3 of 4 sterren, toch 4. Er zit wellicht wat veel herhaling in, maar Draaisma heeft iets te vertellen en doet dat met verve. Het laatste hoofdstuk, de heimwee fabriek, is een schitterende afsluiting van zo'n 300 pagina's over het geheugen, de herinnering, ouder worden en vergeten. "In de ouderdom kom je tot de conclusie dat je, zonder je ooit te hebben aangemeld, zonder dat je er zelfs maar erg in had, toch door een emigratiecentrale bent uitgezonden. Ook als je bleef zitten waar je zat, opgroeide temidden van wat je vertrouwd was, dan nog scherpen je reminiscenties je in dat je al lang niet meer in het land van je jeugd verblijft. Je bent in den vreemde beland zonder ooit te zijn vertrokken."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dymphie

    Een soort vervolg op zijn andere boek uit 2002 – ‘Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt’. Dat vond ik ook erg goed, de Heimweefabriek gaat vooral over het reminiscentie-effect: dat je je na je 55 steeds meer en scherper van je jonge jaren gaat herinneren. Wel interessant gegeven, maar op een gegeven moment weet je het wel ;-)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Caat

    Ik vond 'm nogal vlak en saai. Had er meer van verwacht. Ik vond 'm nogal vlak en saai. Had er meer van verwacht.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lijadora del Prado

    Three interesting topics. The exposition of the first one (the reminiscence effect) got quite repetitive though.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Twiggy

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lars Hulshof

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rahşan Karacı

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anco

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marijke

  17. 4 out of 5

    Monika

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ricus

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sam Dye

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mia

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sara

  22. 4 out of 5

    Boris Lovric

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mustafa

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ronald Chase

  26. 4 out of 5

    Zynpr

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tajana Lisica

  28. 5 out of 5

    mcq

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jay Mac

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alice

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