“Memory is everything. Without it we are nothing,” says neuroscientist Eric Kandel, winner of the Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking research on the physiology of the brain’s storage of memories. As he explains, memory is the glue that binds our mental life together and provides a sense of continuity in our lives.
In Search of Memory is a compelling blend of autobiography and history that recounts the life of one of the most important neuroscientists of the 20th century and illuminates scientific developments in our understanding of the brain’s role in recording and preserving memory. Both through its personal journey into the memory of this amazingly spry and witty 79-year-old, especially his traumatic experiences during the Holocaust, and a visit to his Columbia University laboratory, where Kandel and his colleagues demonstrate their experimental research, the film examines how the brain stores memories, the difference between short-term and long-term memory, Alzheimer’s and age-related memory loss, and structural modifications to the brain that enhance memory. Everything we undergo changes the brain, even our genetic make-up, and can determine the focus of a life’s work.