KidBrains - Why do we Forget Things? The Science of Memory Loss.
Posted February 3rd, 2018 by arnavpatnaik27
February 3rd, 2018
Our brain is an awesome body part, but sometimes it fails us. Like when you’re in a test and you forget an answer or that time someone else knows your name but you’ve forgotten their’s. And you think to yourself, ‘I used to know that - where did the information go?’. It would be reasonable to think that. I mean, if your brain knows something once, why does it forget later? That is what this KidBrains post will find out. Before we continue, remember the number 6734.
I have a theory, but I will need to test it first. I want you to think of a penny. You probably thought of a bronze circle with the Queen’s face on one side. However, you probably did not think of the phrase above the Queen’s face. That is because, it just doesn’t matter. Your brain cannot store all the information you process, so it cleverly organises it into IMPORTANT and UNIMPORTANT. That phrase (by the way, if you did remember it, well done) does not play an important role in our everyday lives, so it is forgotten.
Conclusion 1 - Our brain forgets memories which are not regularly thought about.
But how? Everything you do gets stored in the part of your brain called the hippocampus (this is not a place where hippos have bonfires and sleep in tents). It groups every small detail of your memory into one event, like you reading this KidBrains post. This means that in about three days, you will remember reading this but you will not remember every word in the introduction, for example. This is called the DECAY THEORY. So…
Conclusion 2 - Our brain forgets small details of a significant part of your life.
Something which I may not have made clear is how memories form, and therefore how they are lost. If you hear a phone ring, the thought is converted into electrical impulses that travel through the neurons in your brain. When neurons react with each other in the SYNAPSES, they help you remember information in the long-term. However, these synapses could weaken and you would forget.
And before I leave, there is one last thing.
Do not scroll up, and try and tell me the number I told you to remember at the beginning. Here are a few clues. 4 numbers.
6….. 7….. 3….. if you have remembered by now, that is because of the stimulation I provided to help you retrieve a memory. And therefore…
Conclusion 3 - Our brain sometimes needs a stimulation or hint to remember something.
What is something YOU always forget? Have you forgotten?
See more stories by Arnav