Being Forgetful May Indicate That Your Brain is Working Properly, Science Says

A research conducted by the University of Toronto shows that being forgetful may be a sign that your brain is actually working properly. Not remembering banal details is a sign that your brain is great at separating the valuable information from the worthless. The group of researchers found that the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus, is promoting forgetting. The purpose of this is to make more room for important information and do away the useless things.

“We always idealize the person who can smash a trivia game, but the point of memory is not being able to remember who won the Stanley Cup in 1972. The point of memory is to make you an intelligent person who can make decisions given the circumstances, and an important aspect in helping you do that is being able to forget some information,” said lead author of the study Professor Blake Richards from the University of Toronto.

Anyway, this revelation isn’t something new. In 2007, a group of researchers used functional MRI to monitor the brains of 20 adults while doing a simple, memory test. The study showed that people are better at remembering conflicting rather than easy information.

“The process of forgetting serves a good functional purpose. What these guys have done is clearly establish the neurobiological basis for this process,” says Michael Anderson of the University of Oregon.

Although Richard’s study didn’t produce any experimental evidence, they reviewed dozens of previously published papers to come to their conclusion that forgetfulness is rather useful.

Being forgetful is good because this way your brain gets rid of the useless information. If your brain is constantly bringing up old things, there would be no room for the new things.
Frankland and Richard did an experiment where mice looked for the exit to a maze, when the exit was moved, they found it faster than if they were dragged to forget the location of the old one.

Source: IFL Science

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