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Neuroscientists Paul Frankland and Blake Richards say your forgetfulness is a sign of Extraordinary Intelligence

Neuroscientists Paul Frankland and Blake Richards say your forgetfulness is a sign of Extraordinary Intelligence

NordenBladet – How often you find yourself forgetting things? Whether it is the date of a friend`s birthday, the name of someone from the past, or a word you want to use. This might have felt troublesome and uncooperative. But, you can get relax now as according to recent studies, forgetfulness is a sign of higher intelligence. Some people`s brain is more capable at remembering, others` is capable in other sectors, whether it is music, mathematics, or other. These people have a great memory* as nature has provided them with an efficient brain.

But, as humans it isn`t always possible to memorize every tiny detail, apart from that it is also difficult to remember things you learned in school, particularly for a long time period.

You might wonder why such things happen and why minor brain lapses occur in the first place, but this is completely normal as researchers Paul Frankland and Blake Richards from the University of Toronto have discovered that old memories in the brain are “overwritten” by new memories. It is even more difficult for us to remember the old impressions, or forget them entirely.

According to the research, just because a person has a better memory, it doesn’t mean that the person is highly intelligent. In fact, the study discovered that the opposite appears to be correct. There are people who memorize all details in their heads, which is useful, but it is even more useful and healthier to remember a larger scale of everything and forget tiny facts.

“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,” Richards explained in an interview with CNN.

There is a mechanism is the brain called hippocampus that stores memories in our minds. But, it will delete the less important memories in our heads in order to focus on what really is important. This mechanism helps us to make better and wiser decisions.

When the brain is overwhelmed with unimportant memories or too many of them, it will lead to mind conflicts and prevent us from making good decisions. For instance, a brain with too many memories can be indecisive as it accounts for too many variables.

“We know that sport increases the number of neurons in the hippocampus,” said Richards. “It’s these very details from your life that are not important, and maybe keep you from making good decisions.”

It is far more acceptable sometimes to forget small details as you can now easily look up at any fact you need at any time.

But, do you find yourself forgetting large segments of important information? If yes, there might be a more serious issue and it is critical to get help from a medical practitioner. Otherwise, it is absolutely fine to forget minor details. Therefore, there is no need to feel stupid when you cannot remember because it means that your mind is working properly!
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* Memory is the faculty of the brain by which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved when needed.

Memory is vital to experiences, it is the retention of information over time for the purpose of influencing future action. If we could not remember past events, we could not learn or develop language, relationships, or personal identity.

Often memory is understood as an informational processing system with explicit and implicit functioning that is made up of a sensory processor, short-term (or working) memory, and long-term memory. This can be related to the neuron. The sensory processor allows information from the outside world to be sensed in the form of chemical and physical stimuli and attended to various levels of focus and intent. Working memory serves as an encoding and retrieval processor. Information in the form of stimuli is encoded in accordance with explicit or implicit functions by the working memory processor. The working memory also retrieves information from previously stored material. Finally, the function of long-term memory is to store data through various categorical models or systems.

Explicit and implicit functions of memory are also known as declarative and non-declarative systems. These systems involve the purposeful intention of memory retrieval and storage, or lack thereof.

Declarative, or explicit, memory is the conscious storage and recollection of data. Under declarative memory resides semantic and episodic memory. Semantic memory refers to memory that is encoded with specific meaning, while episodic memory refers to information that is encoded along a spatial and temporal plane. Declarative memory is usually the primary process thought of when referencing memory.

Non-declarative, or implicit, memory is the unconscious storage and recollection of information. An example of a non-declarative process would be the unconscious learning or retrieval of information by way of procedural memory, or a priming phenomenon. Priming is the process of subliminally arousing specific responses from memory and shows that not all memory is consciously activated, whereas procedural memory is the slow and gradual learning of skills that often occurs without conscious attention to learning.

Memory is not a perfect processor, and is affected by many factors. The ways by which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved can all be corrupted. The amount of attention given new stimuli can diminish the amount of information that becomes encoded for storage. Also, the storage process can become corrupted by physical damage to areas of the brain that are associated with memory storage, such as the hippocampus. Finally, the retrieval of information from long-term memory can be disrupted because of decay within long-term memory. Normal functioning, decay over time, and brain damage all affect the accuracy and capacity of the memory.

Memory loss is usually described as forgetfulness or amnesia.

Featured image: Pexels/Daniel Spase


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