Not remembering certain things may be a beneficial functional feature of the brain
Blocking us from accessing certain brain cells that store memories may be a handy feature of the human body that helps us improve our decision-making abilities, according to new research.
Not being able to recall specific memories under certain environmental conditions does not indicate brain degradation, but rather shows that it is developing to support learning and flexible behavior, according to a theory put forward by a team of international scientists. .
To better interact with the changing world, the brain switches the parts responsible for remembering things.from an accessible state to an inaccessible statesuggests Dublin professor Dr Tomas Ryan. He studied the theory with his Toronto colleague, Dr Paul Frankland, and their study was published this week in the leading international journal, Nature.
“We propose that forgetting is actually a form of learning that alters the accessibility of memory depending on the environment and its predictability.said Dr. Ryan.
Sets of neurons called “engram cells” are responsible for retaining memories, and they are reactivated when memories need to be recalled, explains the professor. When cells cannot be reactivated, forgetting occurs – meaning memories are not lost, they are still there, but the brain does not give us access. “The forgetting rateseems to depend on circumstances in an ever-changing world.
“It’s like the memories are stored in a safe but you can’t remember the code to unlock it“, said the scientist.
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Such memory loss does not appear to be permanent, but is reversible under certain circumstances and more consistent with impaired memory access. There are some cases where it’s not temporary, but not remembering things is a different, pathological thing that indicates disease.
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