|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2021 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 199
Ribot's law and leo tolstoy
Department of Neurology, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey
|Date of Submission||25-Mar-2021|
|Date of Decision||09-May-2021|
|Date of Acceptance||10-May-2021|
|Date of Web Publication||20-Sep-2021|
Department of Neurology, Ege University, Izmir
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Ertekin C. Ribot's law and leo tolstoy. Neurol Sci Neurophysiol 2021;38:199
Théodule Armand Ribot (1839–1916) was a French Psychologist who hypothesized a memory disorder in 1881 that came to be known as Ribot's Law. According to this law, recent memories are more likely to be lost than the more remote memories, in the elderly and some demented patients. It is also well known that Alzheimer's Disease is associated with a temporally graded retrograde amnesia indicating that older memories are somehow more resilient against neurodegeneration while newer memories are not.
I propose that this kind of memory problem has first been described by Leo Tolstoy in his famous novel of “War and Peace” published in 1869. This novel is regarded as one of Tolstoy's finest literary achievements and an internationally praised classic of world literature.
When I read the novel “War and Peace,” I noticed that one of the older characters, Prince Nicolai Andreich Bolkonsky had been complaining that he was not able to recall newer memories but the older ones were easily remembered. Prince Nicolai Andreich Bolkonsky was the father of Prince Andrei Nikolayevich Bolkonsky, one of the central characters in War and Peace. I should reiterate that the first publication time of the novel was 1869, 12 years before Ribot published his work on this topic in 1881. At the time both of these distinguished persons were probably unaware of each other's observations on human memory.
Nevertheless, we have to conclude that Théodule Armand Ribot was the first author describing Ribot's Law scientifically and Leo Tolstoy was one of the first novelists to describe this kind of amnesia in one fictional character of “War and Peace.”
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| References|| |
Gullin V. “Theodule Ribot”s ambiguous positivism: Philosophical and epistemological strategies in the foundation of French Scientific Psychology. J Hist Behav Sci 2004;40;165-81.
Briggs A. Introduction to War and Peace. London, England: Penguin Classics; 2005.
Harp ve Sulh TL. Turkish Version of War and Peace; Interpreters; Vahdet Gultekin and Samih Tiryakioglu. Istanbul: Guven Basim ve Yayinevi; 1958. p. 157.