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Extended Memory

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 the subject.

Ron Wallace

> Notes for a Theory of Extended Memory