Dave Pollard lays out a process of how we learn in How to Save the World: How we learn and Why we don't
- We take in information through our sensory receptors.
- We next filter and 'process' this information through our personal mental models or 'frames'.
- Next, we store the filtered, processed, regurgitated, parsed 'learnings' in our 'working memory', the brain's RAM, where they continue to be molded, considered, and amended until we have essentially 'decided what they mean'.
This - particularly Dave's graphic - reminds me of something I read earlier that had to do with how the knowledge-information-data cycle works within our brains. We get stimuli impinging on our senses all the time. Our brains filter out a great deal of the external stimuli to give us data for the brain to process into sensible information. We can then make decisions and take action based on this processed data in combination with our internal filters and biases.
Dave goes on to discuss the model in detail to think about some possibilities of why we don't always learn what we "should" be learning -- or what we might learn when viewing the behavior from the comfort of the armchair.