Monday, November 20, 2017

Apparently, Being Forgetful is a Sign of Higher Intelligence

There are times that we tend to forget things, such as our friend’s birthday or other personal stuff. However, being unable to retain information is a normal thing. Our minds are meant to undergo such process but it does not mean we are stupid or something.


Interestingly, having a bad memory is actually a great asset. Research suggests that having such is a direct sign of intelligence. In fact, it is said that a strong memory is simply overrated and is contrary to what science speaks of.


Being forgetful does not automatically mean you are dumb.



Thanks to the researchers from the University of Toronto, we now know that forgetting things is not at all a very commonplace. Instead, it allows us to become stronger. They also claim that the ultimate goal of memory – contrary to popular belief – is to transmit the most accurate information over time.

The researchers involved are Blake Richards and Paul Frankland, both of whom proposed that memory is best utilized to optimize one’s intelligent decision-making. And how exactly does this happen? Well, this is by way of holding onto valuable information and letting the rest of it go. It turns out that doing so can make room for other things that matter.


Frankland’s studies, in particular, suggest that new brain cells are being formed in the hippocampus. This is where all old memories and connections are being overwritten.

A new study argues that being forgetful is a sign of intelligence.


Richards, on the other hand, was quoted saying:


"It’s important that the brain forgets irrelevant details and instead focuses on the stuff that’s going to help make decisions in the real world.”


He also pointed out:


"We know that exercise increases the number of neurons in the hippocampus, but they’re exactly those details from your life that don’t actually matter, and that may be keeping you from making good decisions.”

Believe it or not, Pixar’s hit movie Inside Out is an epitome of this study. In the film, particularly in Riley’s memory dump scene, faded memories can be seen being cleared out. This is simply due to the lack of use to make way for new memories.

Here is Riley, the protagonist from Pixar’s animated movie, Inside Out.




In the subject, forgetfulness is a useful tool when our brains end up forgetting specifics about past events or actions. However, for it to become valuable, it must be able to retain the larger pictures or key information. For the researchers, this process allows human beings to generalize their past experiences better.

Just to make it clear: People who forget important stuff are not really off the hook. But if they tend to experience memory loss very frequently, then it is a matter of huge concerns.

It is important to understand that forgetting details is simply a sign of a healthy memory system. And there is nothing you can do about it. The brain is simply doing its job.

Technology has helped us free up memory space, allowing us to entertain newer information.




But, of course, humanity has learned to fill this gap and thus used the latest of technology. Take for example smartphones: We use these devices to serve as a tool in keeping numbers, birthdays, and events, among many others. Thankfully, they help our brains free up space.


Loading...