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Forgetting Things May Make You Smarter

Posted By: Best Brains Oct-12, 2017

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The recent research suggests that the attacks of forgetfulness could cause a safety mechanism in the brain designed to make sure we're not loaded with information. In other words, the specialists say that it's a healthy part of the brain's operation. In their words, they say that it might come as a relief if we are always forgetting where we left our belongings like house keys and some other stuff, but this could also possibly teach us more about how our brain operates.

According to two well-known researchers from the University of Toronto in Canada, the memory isn't envisioned to help communicate the most accurate information, but it would be rather the most useful information that can help us make smart decisions in the future. However, it is always very important that the brain forgets immaterial details and instead focuses on the stuff that's going to help us to make decisions in the real world.

While some researchers took this in a different approach and to the idea of memory and looked at the neurobiology of remembering, or perseverance, while others looked at the neurobiology of forgetting, or transience.

However, researchers found evidence of the thoughtful weakening of the synaptic connections between neurons that help to encrypt memories, as well as the signs in which the new neurons overwriting existing memories exit, to make them harder to access. So why is the brain spending time trying to make us forget?

Primarily, forgetting helps us adjust to new circumstances by letting go of our old memories we don't need. So, in this way if your favorite coffee shop has moved to the other side of the town, and you find a new one closer to you, your brain will let you forget the old location and thus, help you remember the new one.

In another way, forgetting allows us to generalize our past events and help us to make decisions about new ones. There is a concept known in artificial intelligence as regularization. Which means when you just tend to remember the main gist of your previous visits to that coffee shop; rather than every little detail, it will then be less work for your brain to figure out how to behave the next time you go in there.

Now – when you try to navigate the world your brain will constantly bring up the multiple conflicting memories, such things make it harder for you to make knowledgeable decisions.

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In this way, the researchers also think the amount of forgetting we do could be contingent on the environment, and with a faster pace of change would definitely require a faster pace of forgetting too.

In one of the recent experiments, it was proved that forgetting information we need to remember too often is a frustrating practice and this can be a sign of more serious problems. But new research suggests that at a certain level of forgetfulness is actually a built-in mechanism which is designed to make us smarter.

The point of memory is to make you a smart person; who can make wise decisions given the circumstances, and the important aspect in helping you do that is being able to forget some information which is not important to remember.