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Opinion: Memory, quotes, and misquotes

My personal physician said, “I told you that a few months ago.” He looked at me, tilted his head to the side and stared into my eyes. “Are you having problems with your memory?”

My initial reaction came from the primitive part of my brain. He’s insulting me. Then reason kicked in. No, he’s asking a medically relevant question. However, I didn’t know how to answer.


In psychology, cognition refers to various ways of knowing things. It includes modes of perception and memory. In 1987, the National Science Foundation (NSF) offered a series of one-week Chautauquas. A simplified explanation of a Chautauqua, at least in this sense, is that it is a discussion group. Each NSF Chautauqua was to include 20 college professors or researchers in varied, but related, fields. I applied for and was accepted to a week-long session held at the University of Hawaii at Manoa on Oahu. It was a nice vacation for my wife and son, but I spent eight hours a day at the university with my group.


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