If you keep forgetting things, like important dates, a friend’s birthday, the name of people you have met, words you want to use, you are surely worried.
However, you can finally relax, as according to scientists, forgetfulness is a sign of higher intelligence. Some people have a more efficient brain and easily memorize more things and details. On the other hand, there are people who cannot remember tiny details or things they have learned a long time ago.
According to researchers Paul Frankland and Blake Richards from the University of Toronto, these minor brain lapses are completely normal, as the old memories in the brain can be “overwritten” by new ones.
They also found that people with a better memory are not necessarily more intelligent, and they actually discovered that the opposite might be the case. They claim that it is much more useful to memorize a larger scale of everything and forget tiny facts than memorizing all details.
According to Prof. Richards, the brain forgets irrelevant details and instead focuses on the things that will help you make decisions in the real world.
Namely, these two processes interact with each other, allowing for “intelligent decision-making in dynamic, noisy environments. Professor Richards explains that the optimization of decision-making is the real purpose of memory, and the brain achieves it by filtering out irrelevant details and focusing on things that contribute to intelligent decisions in the real world.
‘Bad memory’ is actually a mechanism in the brain which makes space for relevant information and does not allow the brain to waste energy and space remembering trivial information.
Also, ‘facts,’ are not what the brain perceives as facts as it focuses on creating a general picture of the events or a simplified version of some information, that will help it make a better decision later.
Memories are stored in the hippocampus on the brain, and it erases less important data in order to be able to focus on important things. In this way, we make wiser and better decisions.
He says that we all know that sport increases the number of neurons in the hippocampus, so these very details from our life that are not important, and might even prevent us from making good decisions.
However, note that you need to seek medical help if you notice that you forget large segments of important information. Otherwise, do not worry, as it is entirely normal to forget minor trivial details, because your brain is still working properly.
Prof. Richards adds that it is a cause of concern if you are forgetting a lot more than normal, but if you forget the occasional detail, it might just mean that your memory system is perfectly healthy and doing exactly what it should be doing.