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:
“It’s important that the brain forgets irrelevant details and instead focuses on the things that will help you make decisions in the real world.”
According to Curious Mind Magazine:
“It turns out that these two processes interact with each other, allowing for “intelligent decision-making in dynamic, noisy environments. The author of the review study, Professor Blake Richards, explains that the real purpose of memory is the optimization of decision-making. The brain achieves this by filtering out irrelevant details and holding on to things that will contribute to intelligent decisions in the real world.
‘Bad memory’ in this respect is actually a mechanism in the brain which serves to quickly make space for relevant information and not allow the brain to waste energy and space remembering the mundane and trivial information.
‘Facts,’ are not what the brain perceives as facts. The brain focuses on creating a general picture of the events or a simplified version of some information, which could serve as a means to making better decisions 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.
“We know that sport increases the number of neurons in the hippocampus. It’s these very details from your life that are not important, and maybe keep you 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 explains:
“You don’t want to forget everything, and if you’re forgetting a lot more than normal that might be cause for concern. But if you’re someone who forgets the occasional detail, that’s probably a sign that your memory system is perfectly healthy and doing exactly what it should be doing.”