The spokesman, Dr. Hiroshi Kyosuke of the University of Tokyo, is one of more than 400 eminent brain scientists who have gathered in Oslo, Norway, this week for a high-level research conference to probe the recent phenomenon of memory loss that has plagued U.S. politicians.
"The question at hand is this: Why are politicians so good at remembering contributors' names and phone numbers but so bad at remembering everything else?" Dr. Kyosuke said.
Over the course of the conference, brain scientists have presented research papers on a variety of subjects related to memory loss, such as former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani's inability to remember a briefing he received about former police commissioner Bernard Kerik's possible ties to organized crime.
"That seems like the sort of thing that a normal human brain would have no difficulty remembering," Dr. Kyosuke said. "What we are learning at this conference is that when it comes to politicians' brains, we have so much more to learn."
On Monday, a full day of the conference was devoted to a paper entitled, "The Neuroscience of Scooter Libby," followed by a keynote address given by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
While many attendees considered Mr. Gonzales' speech a high point of the conference, the Attorney General offered a different assessment: "I have no recollection of it."
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