We had just taken off. As the airplane banked right
to face west, we suddenly saw a barrier beach stretched out before
us as a long, gradually curving white line. We followed this line,
the southern shore of Martha's Vineyard, until we reached the clay
cliffs of Gay Head. We then turned north and headed to Boston.
With this photograph and caption I have entered
your thoughts and rearranged connections between neurons in your brain.
You are now a keeper of one of my memories.
I am interested to know how memory works.
Scientific research focuses on the role of the brain
as the sole location and controller of memory. The brain certainly
plays a pivotal role in memory and recall, but I believe that it is
part of a larger system encompassing the entire body and the environment.
I believe that our memories exist within us and outside of us. I call
this idea extended memory.
I have written a series of notes that describe this
idea in more detail. I hope it will stimulate your own thoughts on
Notes for a Theory of Extended Memory