Memories are stored in several ways - we currently refer to these as sensory, short term, and long term. I believe the standard model needs to include further genres on emotion and somatic paraphysical indications and their role in creating and retrieving memories.
[Reminder that this is a musing and possibly not scientifically accurate. I'm exploring new theories of the mind, individuality, memory, etc and these posts are an exploration of my current understandings and speculations.]
Memories are created in our brain when various triggers occur in our "now state" perception of reality. Everything we experience has an opportunity to be remembered or ignored, after initial sensory input is assessed. The Fractal Expansion Model shows we can put our consciousness on whatever we choose and the evolution of our focus gains power in a fractal pattern, with each thought group developing as a strong fractal spine, with side-thoughts as the smaller fractal arms. In ultra-simple terms: practice makes better.
Our previously-stored memories remind us who we are and what we know. When a new memory is to be stored it is assessed and categorized, it is then compared to our previous memories to find out if this is something new or something reminiscent of another memory. Currently our belief is that we link new memories in a state-dependant fashion with several internal previously-created labels. Our theory is missing emotion however.
We perceive life around us in full emotion, sound, vision, but we have a limited system for categorizing the emotional state in memories. Memories with emotional content are categorized and labeled in ways that typical physical-reality based memories are not. Emotions are sensed by recognizing not only physical cues but also by an associated colorful aura. As sensed by myself, Jerald Bland, M.A., the colorful or golden-white aura is associated with each chakra (front and back) and around the entire person with various concentric levels of aura (alternating static/structural aura and fluid/water-color aura). Each chakra deals with a specific range of emotional frequencies.
[Most humans are imbalanced and blocked and tend to take in or expel energy through neighboring chakras. Much more later on this concerning healthy and appropriate energy flow and balance.]
When comparing how we remember things it seems obvious that emotion is involved; we do the "Remember when" game and swoon over past loves, we compare newly introduced people to ones we have already known. We remember a frequency of emotion and other things in that genre are remembered along with it. The following example, as evidenced by my 6 year old daughter's behavior, shows how we link emotional state to memories. If she gets sad or lonely about something, on occasion she'll give the reason she's sad as that she misses grandpa (who passed on when she was 3). Suddenly a missed playdate, that triggered her loneliness vibration, reminds her of other things that also triggered that same loneliness vibration.
When we remember some past event how does it usually come to mind? through text of the event? no, through a picture or a movie-like event in our mind's eye. If the mind's eye is not developed (as in most people) we might just pick up on a phrase, a laugh, a scent, an emotion, but somehow our mind is capable of linking to an entire scene from the past. If we try we can keep gaining more and more information about that event.
The Fractal Expansion Model exhibits the idea that our soul, or actual dynamic aspect of self, resides in a different vibration of reality: in the Astral realms. The thoughts we have, and all the split-off thoughts from those, reside in the astral realm and the final fractal-point-thought is delivered to the material world where it becomes our reality.
The Astral realms, for this purpose, would be all that happens concerning the 8th Chakra.
Our memory cues are stored in the brain and chakras, but when we put our intention on remembering the memory, the full astral montage comes into our mental workbench. Memory cues are vibrational and emotional in nature, which is why we access them so quickly and hold a specific sense of self. we don't need to remember memories to know who we are, we know who we are by the vibrational input and output of our chakras. Our thoughts and imaginings reside in the astral but the emotional vibrations of the events are stored in the physical, allowing us to feel Individual without remembering every event of our lives.
As a relevant coordinate thought:
Enlightenment is the planned dissolution of all chakra vibrational memories, a balance of perfectly clear in-flow and expulsion of energies. As this happens our lower chakras cease to act unless called upon, and our higher chakras 6 through 10 become the functioning self - utterly compassionate with an ability to find oneself anywhere they look.