Written as part of my work as the director of the MacArthur funded Edmund Gordon Fellows Program
Human long-term memory is the basis of human learning. However, the nature of human memory is often not well understood (Gazzaniga 2008, 2011; Gee 2013a; Glenberg 1997; Loftus 1976; Schacter 2002; Simons & Chabris 2011). As the poor record of eye-witness testimony in courts of law attests (Loftus & Ketcham 1991), human memory is not very good at accurate storage of information. In the sense in which digital computers have memory—in the way in which they store information accurately over time—humans do not have memory. A computer does not change the information it stores every time it uses it, but humans do.