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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Forgetting mechanism in the human brain!

The research, published in Nature Neuroscience, is the first to isolate the adaptive forgetting mechanism in the human brain. The brain imaging study shows that the mechanism itself is implemented by the suppression of the unique cortical patterns that underlie competing memories. Via this mechanism, remembering dynamically alters which aspects of our past remain accessible.
Over the course of four selective retrievals the participants in the study were cued to retrieve a target memory, which became more vivid with each trial. Competing memories were less well reactivated as each trial was carried out, and indeed were pushed below baseline expectations for memory, supporting the idea that an active suppression of memory was taking place.
Dr. Maria Wimber (author) said, "It has significance for anything that relies on memory, but a really good example is that of eyewitness testimonies. When a witness is asked to recall specific information about an event, and they are quizzed time and time again, it could well be to the detriment of associated memories -- giving the impression that their memory is sketchy. In fact, the repeated recall is causing them to forget these details."