Being forgetful is actually a sign you are unusually intelligent, according to scientific research

A Scientific Research about the Forgetfulness

Science shows that the brain is set up to forget some things and remember only some and that a good memory doesn’t equate to high intelligence.

Forgetting is just as important as remembering

The scientists Paul Frankland and Blake Richards in the interview for U of T news stated that our brains are actively working to forget.

Also, according to the researchers of the two University of Toronto who reviewed the literature on remembering (known as persistence) and the forgetting came to the conclusion that forgetting is just as important a component of our memory system as remembering.

They, in fact, propose that the goal of memory is to guide and optimize intelligent decision, not to retain the most accurate information over time. The brain is only holding the appropriate information.

According to the report in the U of T, made by the professor Blake Richards, “The real goal of memory is to optimize decision-making.” In the study, he was focused on the role of forgetting information and the memory.

The brain is compound to forget irrelevant details and instead it is focusing on the stuff that’s going to help make decisions in the real world.

Remembering only the idea of a conversation, not every detail means that your brain forgets details. However, the brain creates stripped-down memories, which are more useful for decision-making and predicting the future.

Giving more attention to the process of forgetting

It is evident that the neurobiological research on memory, in the past, tended to focus on the cellular mechanisms involved in storing information, known as persistence. However, there was an absence of the attention on the forgetting, also known as transience.

Until now, it has often been assumed that forgetfulness comes down to a failure of the mechanisms involved in recalling or storing information.

Now, according to Paul Frankland, the researchers in this study found plenty of evidence that there are mechanisms that promote memory loss, which is a distinction from those involved in storing information.

But what are the underlying mechanisms?

– Weakening or elimination of synaptic connections between neurons in which memories are determined is one of these mechanisms.

– Another mechanism, according to Frankland’s own lab, is the generation of new neurons in the hippocampus

With the integration of the new neurons into the hippocampus, there were established new connections in existing circuits. Those connections overwrite memories stored in those circuits, which makes them harder to access. According to this theory explained in the Science Daily, it is possible to explain why children, whose hippocampi are producing more new neurons, forget so much information.

Why do people forget?

Scientists explain that the brain spends so much energy storing memories, but also spends so much energy trying to forget information.

Richards says that there are two very good reasons why you may want to forget at least some of the information you come across:

– 1st – In a constantly changing world old information becomes outdated and they are not as important to remember

For this reason, Richards said: “If you’re trying to navigate the world and your brain is constantly bringing up multiple conflicting memories that makes it harder for you to make an informed decision.”

– 2nd – Generalizing the past events to new ones is a way of forgetting, which helps to make better decisions

In the artificial intelligence this principle is called regularization, which is based on creating simple computer models that prioritize core information, but at the same time eliminates specific details by analyzing huge data sets and allowing for wider application.

According to Richards, the goal of analyzing is not to look at the idealizing the person but to look at the real circumstances.

The conclusion of the scientists is that memory should make you an intelligent person who can make decisions given the circumstances, but the important aspect that will help you here is to be able to forget some information.




University of Toronto

Science Daily

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