In Buddhism, the memory of one’s deeds are not stored in the brain. This idea is alien to modern thought which is materialistic or more technically is based on ontological materialism. Modern theories of memory tell us the brain is a kind of data storage center where our memories are kept and when the brain dies so do all of our memories. This is where Buddhism and modern science part company. For Buddhism memory is not stored in the brain.
For Buddhism, what beings really are is consciousness (vijñāna) that is attached to a material embryo which becomes entrained with the embryo being subsequently incarnated. With maturity and finally death this consciousness that was attached to the embryo leaves the dead carnal body, having all the senses, assuming an ethereal form. This is where we find the memory.
“When the consciousness leaves the body, it carries all the body’s attributes with it. It assumes an [ethereal] form as its body; it has no body of flesh and bones. Because it has the senses, it has feeling and subtle memory and can tell good from evil” (Maharatnakuta Sutra).
This after-death state seems to be borne out by what is currently termed NDEs or near-death experiences. According to Dr. Bruce Greyson:
“When some people come close to death, they go through a profound experience in which they believe they leave their bodies and enter some other realm or dimension, transcending the boundaries of the ego and the ordinary confines of time and space. Such experiences had been described sporadically in the medical literature since the 19th century (Greyson, 1998a) and had been identified as a discrete syndrome more than a century ago (Heim, 1892). Moody (1975) introduced the term near-death experiences (NDEs) for these phenomena, and outlined 15 characteristic features commonly reported by American survivors. These 15 features, which have come to define near-death experiences both among the academic community and in the popular imagination, include ineffability, hearing the news of ones death, overwhelming feelings of peace, hearing a noise, seeing a tunnel, a sensation of being out of the body, meeting nonphysical beings, a "Being of Light," a life review, a border or point of no return, coming back to life, telling others about the experience, effects on lives, new views of death, and corroboration of knowledge not acquired through normal perception (Moody, 1975)."
I consider such NDE experiences to add weight to the argument that consciousness—not the brain—is where our memory is kept. Added to this, is the theory of “Conscious Realism” developed by Dr. Donald Hoffman in which phenomena, such as brains, are the creations of conscious agents (In previous blogs I have mentioned Hoffman).
The world that we perceive and live in is the illusion while conscious agents are the truer reality which are composed of pure Mind, the highest fundamental reality/substance.