"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."
-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
3 How important is long-term memory, anyway？5 How important is long-term memory, anyway？How important is long-term memory, anyway？Part II: Personal Memory Systems More BroadlyAugmenting Long-term Memory2020-09-24Journal
This experience of how much easier Anki made learning a new technical field greatly increased my visceral appreciation for the importance of memory.
There are also many results from cognitive science on the key role memory plays in cognition.
One striking line of work was done (separately) by the researchers Adriaan de Groot and Herbert Simon, studying how people acquire expertise, focusing particularly on chess\\ See, for instance, Herbert A. Simon, How Big is a Chunk?, Science (1974), and Adriaan de Groot, Thought and Choice in Chess, Amsterdam University Press (2008, reprinted from 1965).. They found that world-class chess experts saw the board differently to beginners. A beginner would see “a pawn here, a rook there”, and so on, a series of individual pieces. Masters, by contrast, saw much more elaborate “chunks”: combinations of pieces that they recognized as a unit, and were able to reason about at a higher level of abstraction than the individual pieces.