Forgetting Can Actually Make Us Smarter

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Forgetting Can Actually Make Us Smarter

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We all worry about forgetting things, but it turns out that forgetting can actually make us smarter and our brains are designed to promote memory loss under certain circumstances! Even neuroscientists used to believe that our inability to remember something was an indication of the brain’s failure to store and retrieve information.  However, Paul Frankland, a senior fellow in CIFAR’s Child and Brain Development program, and Blake Richards, an associate fellow in the Learning in Machines and Brains program, have reviewed research indicating that our brains actively work to forget.  They say that the goal of memory is not to transmit the most accurate information over time, but to guide and optimize intelligent decision making by only holding on to valuable information.

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2 Comments

  • Well, this is good news since i forget things from time to time.
    However, i hope I do not forget the important things in life – love, dignity, humility, courage, creativity, kindness, discipline, hard work, smart work, faithfulness, empathy, selflessness

    • Once we learn things like humility and courage and discipline, they are very hard to unlearn. Habitual behaviors are durable learning and not as subject to forgetting. And the other good news is, the more we practice them, the stronger they get.

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