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Diving for Seahorses

Exploring the Science and Secrets of Human Memory

Regular price $29.95

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  • ISBN: 9781771643474
  • Tags: Biography & Memoir, Health & Wellness, Hilde Østby, Literary Non-fiction, Sam Kean, Science, Ylva Østby,
  • Dimensions: 5.25 x 7.5
  • Published On: 10/09/2018
  • 296 Pages

AVAILABLE October 9, 2018

A novelist and a neuroscientist uncover the secrets of human memory.

What makes us remember? Why do we forget? And what, exactly, is a memory?

With playfulness and intelligence, Diving for Seahorses answers these questions and more, offering an illuminating look at one of our most fascinating faculties: our memory. The authors—two Norwegian sisters, one a neuropsychologist and the other an acclaimed writer—skillfully interweave history, research, and exceptional personal stories, taking readers on a captivating exploration of the evolving science of memory from its humble Renaissance beginnings up to the present day. They interview experts of all stripes, from the world’s top neuroscientists to famous novelists, from taxi drivers to quizmasters, to help explain how memory works, why it sometimes fails, and what we can do to improve it. Filled with cutting-edge research and nimble storytelling, the result is a charming—and memorable—adventure through human memory.

Hilde Østby is a writer and editor and the author of Encyclopedia of Love and Longing, a novel about unrequited love that was published to critical acclaim in Norway. She has a master’s degree in History of Ideas from the University of Oslo.

Ylva Østby is a clinical neuropsychologist with a PhD from the University of Oslo who devotes her research to the study of memory. She is also vice-president of the Norwegian Neuropsychological Society. She lives in Oslo, Norway.


"Gorgeously researched and written, this is science told as a page-turner rather than a treatise. Be prepared to emerge with a different sense of your life’s memories. A book you can’t forget."
David Eagleman, PhD, neuroscientist, New York Times bestselling author, creator, and presenter of the PBS television series The Brain

"The Østby sisters—one a novelist and the other a neuropsychologist—have combined their strengths to produce a lyrically written and lucidly reasoned exploration of how memory works. Diving for Seahorses is full of fascinating characters and indelible scenes that will continue tumbling around in your mind long after you’ve turned its last page."
Luke Dittrich, author of Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets

"Memory is one of the most important capacities we possess. Sometimes it is right, but often it is terribly wrong. In Diving for Seahorses, we learn, through science and stories, just how good and how bad it can be. In this engaging book, the Østby sisters introduce us to some of the leading scientists and famous memory personalities. Be prepared to be educated and entertained at the same time."
Elizabeth Loftus, PhD, false memory expert and author of Eyewitness Testimony