Tuesday, July 4, 2017

memory lapses are good for your brain?

Via Drudge:  Scientists have claimed that forgetting things may not always imply you are scatterbrained. Instead, it could be crucial to coping with new challenges.

“We think an important part of being intelligent is about forgetting the details of past experiences,” Blake Richards, of the University of Toronto, said. He and a colleague argue in the journal Neuron that things you forget are as important for brain efficiency as those you remember. As a consequence, the brain actively promotes forgetting.

Traditionally, brain scientists have focused on studying the mechanisms behind memory formation; forgetting was what happened when they went wrong. Recent research in mice has found that, rather than being a passive process, the brain seems to encourage the loss of memories. “Over the last five years, research has shown that forgetting is something the brain actually expends energy on,” Professor Richards said. “Why would it invest in this?”

While the brain was capable of storing “almost every event that occurs in our lives”, those with superhuman memories tended to be psychiatric case studies, not high achievers, he argued. Forgetting could have the function of smoothing out complicated details, helping us to recognise patterns rather than get bogged down in specifics.

(Link to more)


AllenS said...

If my memory lapses continue, I won't have any brain cells left to realize the fact.

ndspinelli said...

I generally have a good memory. But I take a non narcotic medication, gabapentin, for radiating nerve pain. I call them stupid pills. Specifically, I have a hard time remembering names, something I used to be good at.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

One of the weirder things is not being able to remember something, and then being able to remember it. I mean, it's not like you're doing anything differently, except taking time and wanting to remember it.

And you remember that you wanted to remember it.


Methadras said...

If that's the case, I'm a god damned genius.