Has it ever struck you ... that life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going? It’s really all memory ... except for each passing moment.

— Eric Kandel

The most thrilling Eric Kandel quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you

I really like the city of Vienna. I like its art, its music and its architecture. In short, I like the culture that Vienna represents. What really captures me is the period around 1900 - the time of Freud, Schnitzler and Klimt. This is the period in which the modern view of mind was born.

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The brain is a complex biological organ of great computational capability that constructs our sensory experiences, regulates our thoughts and emotions, and control our actions.

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I don't think biology is replacing the feeling experienced through art.

Biology is capable of giving additional insights. It's a parallel, not a substitutive process.

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I have on the one hand a hatred and on the other a yearning for Vienna.

I left when I was nine years old because I was Jewish. And even before 1938, the anti-Semitism in Austria was probably deeper than it was in Germany or in other European countries.

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There are cells in the brain that respond to faces.

This is one of the reasons that I deal with portraiture. We can learn a lot about our perception of facial expression from the behavior of these cells.

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I see psychoanalysis, art and biology ultimately coming together, just like cognitive psychology and neuroscience have merged.

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It is this potential for plasticity of the relatively stereotyped units of the nervous system that endows each of us with our individuality.

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Not only Freud but artists and writers were also interested in the unconscious.

It was medicine that made the first steps toward modernity.

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One of the wonderful things about Internet is its like a salon.

It brings people together from different intellectual walks of life.

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Vienna is relatively small. And it had wonderful salons, opportunities for people to get together. There was a lot of interaction between scientists and non-scientists, between Jews and non-Jews, between artists, writers and scientists, including medical scientists.

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After the war, the Austrians just denied their role in it all.

They didn't teach it in school. But since 1990 they have openly acknowledged their role in the Holocaust and I feel more comfortable in Austria. I feel a sort of reconciliation.

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The problem for many people is that we cannot point to the underlying biological bases of most psychiatric disorders. In fact, we are nowhere near understanding them as well as we understand disorders of the liver or the heart.

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About Eric Kandel

Quotes 23 sayings
Profession Professor
Birthday November 7, 1929

I went to medical school after having decided to do so somewhere between my junior and senior year at Harvard - very late. I initially wanted to be an intellectual historian.

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Self-portraits are a way of revealing something about oneself.

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In art, as in science, reductionism does not trivialize our perception - of color, light, and perspective - but allows us to see each of these components in a new way.

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Memory is everything. Without it we are nothing.

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Truth has many dimensions, and the way you arrive at truth in complex situations is through many perspectives.

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The task of neural science is to explain behaviour in terms of the activities of the brain. How does the brain marshall its millions of individual nerve cells to produce behaviour, and how are these cells influenced by the environment...? The last frontier of the biological sciences – their ultimate challenge – is to understand the biological basis of consciousness and the mental processes by which we perceive, act, learn, and remember.

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There was an idea that God created man different from other animals, because man was rational and animals had drives and instincts. That idea of a rational man that was specially created went out the window when Darwin showed that we evolved from animal ancestors, that we have instincts, much as do animals, and that our instincts are very important. It was a much more sophisticated, nuanced, and rich view of the human mind.

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Life is sort of a circle. You come back to a lot of the interests that you had early in life.

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As you know, in most areas of science, there are long periods of beginning before we really make progress.

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Biology is a way of approaching the truth about the mind.

In biology most people don't tackle problems at the level of complexity that psychoanalysis does. But psychoanalysis has a degree of uncertainty about it. A psychoanalyst may have some deep insights, but cannot, at the moment, run experiments to establish whether it's really the truth.

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