Researchers suggest forgetting is a form of learning

Jan 17, 2022

New Delhi, Jan 17 (ANI): During a recent study, a team of researchers proposed a theory that forgetting represents a form of learning. The study has been published in the 'Nature Reviews Neuroscience Journal'. The scientists behind the new theory suggested that changes in our ability to access specific memories are based on environmental feedback and predictability. Rather than being a bug, forgetting may be a functional feature of the brain, allowing it to interact dynamically with the environment. In a changing world like the one, we and many other organisms live in, forgetting some memories can be beneficial as this can lead to more flexible behaviour and better decision-making. If memories were gained in circumstances that are not wholly relevant to the current environment, forgetting them can be a positive change that improves our wellbeing. So, in effect, scientists believe we learn to forget some memories while retaining others that are important. Forgetting of course comes at the cost of lost information, but a growing body of research indicated that, at least in some cases, forgetting is due to altered memory access rather than memory loss.