Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and essayist William Stanley Merwin was known in the 1960s as an anti-war poet. Now an environmental activist, Merwin has published a new book of poems, The Shadow of Sirius, which addresses themes of memory and mortality.
Think of everything your brain processes in a single day: your breakfast, a stain on a book cover, a meeting at work. If you remembered all those things, your brain would reach capacity. Author and neuroscientist Penelope Lewis says sleep helps sort through the memories that are worth keeping.
For nearly 50 years, neuroscientist Suzanne Corkin worked with Henry Molaison, who lost most of his memory in 1953 after experimental surgery for severe seizures. Their work together taught us much of what we know today about memory, and she writes about Mollison and their work in her new book.
On Thursday, W.S. Merwin was named the 17th poet laureate of the United States. The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, known for his environmental activism, joined Fresh Air's Terry Gross in 2008 for a discussion about memory, mortality and his writing process
Psychologist Daniel Schacter is the author of the new book The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers. The book looks at memory loss and age, arguing that gaps in memory are normal if not necessary to a sharp mind. He's a Professor of Psychology at Harvard University.
His new film Memento, is about a man who is unable to make new memories since the violent murder of his wife. Now without a short term memory, he seeks to avenge her death. The movie stars Guy Pearce, with Carrie-Anne Moss and Joe Pantoliano. The script for Memento was based on a short story written by Johnathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan's brother. Memento is Christopher Nolan's second feature film; his first was the critically acclaimed 1998 film Following.
Specialist in memory and language disorders, Dr. Barry Gordon. His book is "Memory: Remembering and Forgetting in Everyday Life." It looks at recognition, recall, memory blocks and the effects of drugs. The book also gives tips to increasing memory recall and dispels some common myths about the brain and memory. Gordon is a behavior neurologist, cognitive neuroscientist and experimental psychologist at Johns Hopkins University. (Rebroadcast)