Consciousness Redux; July / August 2012; Scientific American Mind; by CHRISTOF KOCH; 2 Page(s)
The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant.
This quote by surrealist painter Salvador Dalí comes to mind when pondering the latest wizardry coming out of two neurobiology laboratories. Before we come to that, however, let us remember that ever since Plato and Aristotle first likened memories to impressions made onto wax tablets, philosophers and natural scientists have searched for the physical substrate of memories. In the first half of the 20th century, psychologists carried out carefully controlled experiments to look for the so-called memory engram in the brain.