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Scientists Say That Being Forgetful Is Actually A Sign You Are Unusually Intelligent

We've all had those moments when you're going about your day, and then all of a sudden, you totally lose your train of thought and forget what you are supposed to be doing. Ugh, doesn't it feel like the worst?

But apparently, it's not a bad thing at all because it turns out that those moments of forgetfulness are actually a sign that your brain is functioning properly.

According to a new study published in the journal Neuron, when you can only recall certain details, it may actually be a sign that your brain is better at separating what information is useful to you in the future.

A study by professors at the University of Toronto found that having a perfect memory might have nothing to do with your intelligence.

"We always idealize the person who can smash a trivia game, but the point of memory is not being able to remember who won the Stanley Cup in 1972," lead author, Professor Blake Richards, said in a statement. "It's important that the brain forgets irrelevant details and instead focuses on the stuff that's going to help make decisions in the real world."

In fact, forgetting the occasional detail might even make you smarter.

Traditionally speaking, the person who remembers the most things is seen to be the smartest.

The study, however, found that forgetting the occasional detail is normal. In fact, remembering the big picture as opposed to little details is better for your brain and your safety, in the long run.

You see, our brains are actually a lot smarter than we think. Our brains are so smart that the hippocampus (where memories are stored) weeds out the most important details.

Researchers backed up a previous study from 2007 that found that forgetfulness is a "highly evolved form of intelligence" and that people who could better remember conflicting messages, instead of repeating easy details, also had higher intelligence.

"The point of memory is to make you an intelligent person who can make decisions given the circumstances, and an important aspect in helping you do that is being able to forget some information," Richards said the statement.

So, next time you momentarily forget your kid's birthday, your email password, or where you left your car keys, don't fret because your brain is probably just saving space for a more important memory that'll help inform your decisions in the long run.


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