Let’s admit it: we all hate to be that person that forget details or directions to a place. Usually, being forgetful is linked to a low level of intelligence. However, a recent study suggests otherwise.
A new study carried out by the University of Toronto claims that having a top-notch memory might just be overrated as forgetfulness could be beneficial to your intelligence.
One of the publishers of the study, Professor Richard Blake, explained that it is important the brain lets go of unnecessary information and instead focuses on the essential things at hand.
He proposed that the real goal of memory is to optimize decision making, and the only way this can be done is to let go of irrelevant information.
Co-author Paul Frankland revealed that they discovered the existence of mechanisms that promote memory loss in the hippocampus, which are distinctly different from those involved with storing information.
The discovery is quite important as the hippocampus is an area of the brain that generates more cells in young people.
The study further explained the benefits of forgetting some information. First, the world is continuously changing when it comes to information. Hence, your brain finds it harder to make an informed decision if it is engaged in bringing up conflicting memories from the past.
Also, it mirrors a concept used in artificial intelligence known as regularization. The principle aims to get computer models to learn how to make generalizations based on large amounts of data, and to do this there must be some "forgetting" of details in the data involved in order to prioritize the core information that is necessary for decisions.
The study concludes that for people to keep information, they should rely more on taking notes rather than memorizing absolutely everything.
“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.”
What an interesting discovery. Hopefully, it helps you feel less annoyed about forgetting things. Share this to make your other forgetful friends feel better!