Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless (Snail) Mind

Jun 13, 2011

Honore: We met at nineMamita: We met at eightHonore: I was on timeMamita: No, you were lateHonore: Ah, yes, I remember it well ... So begins the famous duet between Maurice Chevalier and Hermione Gingold in "Gigi."  Their implication -- that memory is porous, fungible and very much at the service of the rememberer -- was not a new idea then, but more recent research has new things to say about it.  Today, biologist David Glanzman explains how the memories of snails can be erased by blocking one protein. Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus describes her controversial research which argues that false memories can be stirred up in the brain with minimal prompting.  And cultural-anthropologist-turned-marketing-guru Clotaire Rapaille talks about how brand names exploit our unconscious memories. All that and our not-entirely-serious German correspondent Hans Felsendinger, who has some things to say about Dallas' big win last night. Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.