New research says being forgetful is actually a sign of intelligence
For us forgetful types, there's usually a worry that our sometimes-poor memory is a sign of our minds failing us, or even worse, that we may be suffering the early onset of some memory-related disease.
Fear not, as some new research from Neuron suggests that forgetting things is a sign of intelligence, and that your brain is working efficiently.
"Forgetting things isn't just normal," reads a report from CNN, "it actually makes us smarter." As having a near-perfect memory has almost always been a signifier of a well-optimized brain, you might wonder how this could be the case.
The research goes on to explain, however, that the true function of memory is "to optimize intelligent decision-making by holding onto what's important and letting go of what's not."
Cast in this light, knowing that our brains opt to prioritize importance over accuracy makes a lot more sense.
Instead of trying to help us recall every moment of every day, our brains attempt to make the information that will help us make critical decisions most readily available, furthering our chances of survival and success.
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Imagine, the researchers posit, trying to make sense of a situation and multiple, conflicting memories dictating how you should act flood your head.
That makes it harder to choose a course of action, while being able to cast away outdated information and make room for the new makes us more capable.
In fact, it might even be helpful for us to give our brains a hand in this department, by engaging in activities that help clear out useless information every so often.
Regular trips to the gym and a few more peaceful walks around the block or through the woods work wonders.
So, wrapping up, it's important for us forgetful types to remember that our brain isn't deleting memories out of spite — it's glossing over the insignificant details so we can better understand the bigger picture.
We can finally stop being so hard on ourselves, to a degree, at least!
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