There is also a lengthy summary in the comments.
Some months ago I received an email from comedian Shane Mauss, asking if I would like to be interviewed for a new podcast project he was working on. Mauss is creating a series of podcast interviews with scientists titled Here We Are.
Now on sale at Amazon, my book on memory improvement: Remembering Willie Nelson: The Science of Peak Memory .
Here is an excerpt form the jacket description:
“WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE A MEMORY LIKE GOOGLE? Have you tried the tricks other memory books teach and given up? Can you actually improve your memory? What does science say? Memory researcher Jeremy Genovese knows there’s good news – science offers real help. A growing body of research has given us tools and techniques for REAL memory improvement. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of the science of peak memory. Dr. Genovese’s book bridges that gap. Remembering Willie Nelson: The Science of Peak Memory introduces a number of ideas accepted by memory scientists, but largely unknown outside the laboratory. In easy-to-understand language, Dr. Genovese explains how you can harness these ideas to dramatically improve your memory. What would a better memory mean for you? Better grades? A better income? Not forgetting someone’s name? Remembering where you parked?”
One of the first memory books I ever read was The Memory Book by Harry Lorayne and Jerry Lucas. Recently, I found this wonderful podcast interview with Lorayne. Michael Senoff does a good job of asking interesting questions while Lorayne tells about his background in memory, magic, publishing, and show business.
In the interview, Lorayne mentions that he had not yet found a publisher for his autobiography. Apparently, it was finally published in 2013 under the title Before I Forget, I’ll have to track down a copy.
Exciting news! Over the weekend I signed a contract with a publisher to write a book on memory improvement. The working title is Remembering Willie Nelson: The Science of Memory Training. The publisher is Moonshine Cove Publishing, an independent house.
The book will be grounded in psychology and brain science. I will describe important experiments and findings that bear on our understanding of memory. It will also explain why memory remains central to education and modern life.
My book will also include my plan for daily memory practice that will help readers with the range of important memory tasks; including remembering names, learning foreign language vocabulary, studying for exams, and recalling computer passwords.
I deliver my final manuscript to the publisher in late November. I will keep you updated on my progress.
A central purpose of this blog is to help you use the science to improve your memory. Thus, it straddles the space between research and self help.
There have been a number of people who have contributed to both memory scholarship and the self help literature on memory.
My model here is the work of the couple Chesley and Morris Young.
Chesley Virginia Barnes served as a cryptographer in World War II, She met Morris while they were both stationed in Naples. He was serving as an army physician.
As a boy growing up in Lawrence, Massachusetts Morris Nathan Young saw Harry Houdini escape from a strait jacket while suspended upside from the tallest building in town. Young got to shake Houdini’s hand and developed a life long interest in magic.
By age 17 Young was himself performing as a magician and his act impressed Houdini.
Young studied at MIT as an undergraduate and earned a master’s degree in chemistry from Harvard. He later attended medical school. He chose his specialty, opthalmology, because of his interest in how the eye could be fooled by misdirection and sleight of hand. His friendship with and admiration of Houdini led Morris to become interest in body control in general and memory improvement in particular.
Both of the Youngs wrote popular memory improvement books. Morris Young also published an extensive scholarly bibliography on memory. They amassed one of the largest collections of books and pamphlets on memory, which was eventually donated to the University of San Marino. Their writings blended insights from the practical experience of memory improvement techniques and from the scientific literature on memory. This blog tries to follow their example.
Martin, D. (2002) Morris N. Young, eye doctor and collector, dies at 93. [New York Times, November 24, ]
Tanne, J. H. (2002). Morris Nathan Young. BMJ, 25, [December 14, 2002, p. 1424]