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Monday, May 16, 2022

Forgetting is actually a form of ‘learning’, a new theory

Toronto: Two brain therapists have come up with a new theory that forgetting is actually a form of learning something new.

The new theory by Dr. Thomas Ryan of Ireland and Dr. Paul Frankland of Canada, published online in the latest issue of Nature Reviews Neuroscience, examines various aspects of human memory and the process of learning (acquisition). ۔

In their research, the two experts say that over time, our brains also learn which information is important and which can be ignored under different circumstances.
As the circumstances change, so does the nature of the ‘essential’ or ‘important’ information, and our brains do not pay attention to the old information that is not relevant to the current situation.

In neuroscience, the collections of brain cells that store memories of a particular knowledge or skill are called engrams. When we remember something or an event about it, the activity related to it creates activity and thus that memory becomes ‘fresh’ in our mind.

Dr. Ryan and Dr. Paul say that “forgetting” does not mean that the memory will disappear from our minds, but that we will not be able to generate activity in the engrams related to that memory when needed.

Apparently this is a disadvantage, in fact it has many advantages because as our learning progresses, too much memorization of old things can become an obstacle in the way of our learning.

Therefore, we can say that by forgetting the old things, we improve the process of learning new things and skills.

That is, a healthy human mind regularly learns how to ‘forget’, so that it can adapt to changing environments and conditions.

During this time, the brain cells remain the same, but there is a change in the activity / movement in them which we call ‘forgetting’.

While learning something new, our brain learns to stimulate different angles and refresh different memories: the memories that are of its use.

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