Posted by: Alexandre Borovik | June 6, 2012

About learning by heart

Vladimir Radzivilovsky:

The brain is like the stomach: it can digest only stuff which is already inside.




  1. This is a *exceptionally* lovely quote, and I’d like to use it in a paper I’m writing (on a far different subject, the history of anatomy). Could you provide a source or reference? I would be much obliged! Cheers!

    • Alas, this is just a quote from a private conversation.

  2. what about new thing that’s not already in our brain ?

  3. Alas, all too often Vladimir’s students remember what is a morphism (for future digestion, I suppose) but cannot add fractions…

  4. I love some of the modern smart tools for memorization. For example, you can train Anki to match your short-term and long-term memory timers, and it will serve pieces to you at a perfect rate for retention. The front end is simple, but there is nice research behind.

  5. I love this. Can I ask, is that the original quote, in English, or was it translated?

    • It was in Russian. “Мозг как желудок — он может переваривать только то, что уже внутри.”

  6. Yes, your quote puts it in a nutshell.
    ,……what comes in, depend on how accurate Your sensory appreciation works. This could be re-employed according to natural laws.

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