[In Context] No past, no future: studies in the art and science of memoryFor those with a functioning memory, amnesia is a condition that is almost impossible to conceptualise. Try to envisage the erasure of all past autobiographical memory. Remembering reactivates the pattern of neural activity originally generated, and replays the memory with an awareness of the present. Remembering is therefore an act of creative reimagination, and if this act is denied, the future is also unimaginable. Without the ability to remember, how can we place ourselves in the world around us, hold on to an understanding of self, recognise those we love, own any part of what we have experienced, and know who we have become? Memory is intrinsically connected to identity, and to a large extent, is what makes us truly human.
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