Mathematicians tend to see fields of study in terms of 'fields', in the sense of abstract spaces. These may be visualised in three dimensions, say, as a memory 'landscape', tho the actual mathematics, as used by John Hopfield, generalises the idea to multi-dimensions of memory associations, perhaps simulating the neural networks of the brain.
Trying to remember a name is likened to setting a marble rolling on a hilly terrain. In one of the valleys of memory is the correct name but there are closely associated, over-riding memory basins that the marble insists on rolling into, instead. For example, the Scottish inventor of television was not called Yogi Bear but it was something like that. ( Logie Baird, in fact. )
Like a scratch on an old record, a deeper memory cuts across a closely related memory's impression, and causes the needle of recollection to slip in its tracks and go round and round the wrong way, till one finds a way of putting it back on course to where one wants to be.
The memory landscape, that experience builds from life's chances, may be a fairly reliable map of the past. But a confusion of tracks on the mind, left by the senses' past traffic, can play us false. The point is that the nature of our experience builds a memory landscape that selects our memories for us. Memory becomes subject to our experience's environmental selection
as a whole, does not stamp a formally correct impression, like a record,
on our minds. Rather, it is a huge mix-up that we have to more or less
make sense of, as far as possible, and with doubtful success, judging
by the current state of the planet.