What is memory? Psychologists' discoveries about learning and memory demonstrate that what is stored in the mind cannot be adequately understood using the analogy of a repository. ‘What stays in the mind? Learning and memory’ examines what psychological studies have revealed about memory and learning methods. Memories for distant events have different characteristics from memories for recent events. Human learning is triggered in a number of different ways: by events (contingencies or discrepancies), associative learning, and complex learning (including observational learning). Many contemporary psychologists think of memory as an activity or set of activities, not a thing. Information stays in the mind if it is relevant, distinctive, or elaborated upon.