Do Long-Term Memories Punch Holes in the Brain?

You think, therefore you are. But what are you? One of the most elusive concepts throughout the long history of philosophy and shorter life of neuroscience is actually the thing that feels closest to us: the self. How do you define it, how do you sense it? This “self” that embodies all of our thoughts, ambitions and actions—where is it? Is it even one seamless entity, or could it break into other, smaller or different subselves? Science writer Anil Ananthaswamy examines the self from every angle in his new book, The Man Who Wasn’t There: Investigations Into the Strange New Science of the Self. He explores whether modern knowledge of the brain can offer any clue about the origin or building blocks of the self. He visits patients whose unique…


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