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Listen or download interview (mp3, 29 minutes, 28MB)
Larry Squire came this close to becoming a professional gambler. For one whirlwind year during graduate school in psychology, he terrorized the card tables of Palo Alto, doubling his stipend by playing poker—and prompting his department to ask him to leave.
That risk-taking streak carried Squire into the fledgling field of brain-based memory research, and it helped him craft a series of experiments that dramatically changed our understanding of memory. Working with amnesic patients, Squire discovered that there are two kinds of long-term memory—declarative and non-declarative—and that when one fails, the other can be used to learn new tasks. His work also revealed the first “maps” of the brain structures at work when we remember.
Squire is Professor of Psychiatry, Neurosciences, and Psychology at the University of California, San Diego. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1993. He is the 2012 recipient of the National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Reviewing.
Last Updated: 03-02-2012
The audio files linked above are part of the National Academy of Sciences InterViews series. Opinions and statements included in these audio files are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Academy of Sciences.