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February 27, 2019 Wednesday 10:33:51 AM IST

Being Forgetful May Be Sign of Unusual Intelligence

Teacher Insights

Conventional wisdom that higher memory power is linked to intelligence has been disproved by scientists.

Paul Frankland and Blake Richards, the two researchers from the University of Toronto, have noted that the brain spends as much energy in forgetting as much as it does in creating memory. Creation of memory is technically called as persistence and forgetting is known as transience. Over a period of time, the brain needs to forget details for example of a social encounter that occurred several years ago and retain only the essentials. Information overload and conflicting data or images stored in the brain can hamper appropriate decision making. Memories are encoded in neurons and over a period of time synaptic connections between neurons are weakened or eliminated thereby helping us forget lot of information or data stored in our memory.

Much of our education system still relies on memory power or rote learning. In the light of the new scientific evidences, it is time the learning systems migrate to more project oriented, problem solving, self- learning methodologies.


Source: https://www.cell.com/neuron/fulltext/S0896-6273(17)30365-3

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