Functions of Forgetting

Sofia Gomez

Why Did I Choose This Topic?

Considering that I am a forgetful person, I was instantly drawn to this topic. I've always been curious as to how people forget and how the process occurs in the brain. Research, in my opinion, could really expand the knowledge of society as to how their brains work.

What Is It?

There are two reasons psychologists believe why the brain forgets. The first is because your brain can not access information even though it is stored, and the second is because the brain discards the information that is deemed invaluable.

Processes in the Brain

Naturally, new information a person learns will be forgotten, and there are three ways that this happens - decay, displacement, and interference. Decat is the process in which information is forgetten if it is not rehearsed. Displacement occurs when a new memory replaces an old one. The third way is interference, where new information distorts old memories. Chemically, the trillions of synapses in the brain story small amounts of information, but the information is soon discarded if it is not refreshed through use of recall. Therefore, the brain is incapable of retireving the memories once it is removed.

The Research & The Psychologist

A German psychologist named Hermann Ebbinghaus pioneered the experiments toward the study of memory, and is known for his discov of the "forgetting curve", or the decline of memory retention over time.

Did You Know?

  • While it may seem like studying is the best way to retain memory, it is actually best to be tested on the information you are trying to member.
  • The sense of smell is the strongest to recall memories because the olfactory nerve is located very close to the amygdala, which is connected to the experience of emotion and emotional memories.
  • Techniques such as taking "mental pictures" or using memorization methods can help to improve your memory.