Skip navigation

Paul M. Matthews

Paul M. Matthews is Vice President at GlaxoSmithKline in London, Professor of Clinical Neurosciences at Imperial College, London, and the coauthor of The Bard on the Brain: Understanding the Mind through the Art of Shakespeare.

Titles by This Editor

Neuroscientific and Humanistic Perspectives

The Memory Process offers a groundbreaking, interdisciplinary approach to the understanding of human memory, with contributions from both neuroscientists and humanists. The first book to link the neuroscientific study of memory to the investigation of memory in the humanities, it connects the latest findings in memory research with insights from philosophy, literature, theater, art, music, and film.

Chapters from the scientific perspective discuss both fundamental concepts and ongoing debates from genetic and epigenetic approaches, functional neuroimaging, connectionist modeling, dream analysis, and neurocognitive studies. The humanist analyses offer insights about memory from outside the laboratory: a taxonomy of memory gleaned from modernist authors including Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, and William Faulkner; the organization of memory, seen in drama ranging from Hamlet to The Glass Menagerie; procedural memory and emotional memory in responses to visual art; music’s dependence on the listener’s recall; and the vivid renderings of memory and forgetting in such films as Memento and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The chapters from the philosophical perspective serve as the bridge between science and the arts. The volume’s sweeping introduction offers an integrative merging of neuroscientific and humanistic findings.

Contributors: John Bickle, Jean-Pierre Changeux, Valérie Doyère, Yadin Dudai, Atillio Favorini, John Burt Foster, David Freedberg, Walter Glannon, Robert Stickgold, David Hertz, William Hirstein, Joseph LeDoux, Paul Matthews, James L. McClelland, Suzanne Nalbantian, Isabelle Peretz, Alan Richardson, Edmund Rolls, Séverine Samson, Alcino Silva, Barbara Tillmann, Fernando Vidal

A BIT of The Memory Process

The humanities can add valuable insights to the study of memory. This BIT draws on recent neuroscientific research to explore one of the great masterpieces of fifteenth-century Flemish painting, Rogier van der Weyden’s Descent from the Cross. It connects memory to the direct and indirect bodily responses to a work of art.