Forgetting May Help Improve Memory And Learning

If you want to learn, forgetting can help. Weird as it may sound, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles have found contextual clues play a role in what people can store and retrieve from their memory. So a change in context can cause forgetting, but it can also change (an even improve) how information is encoded and retrieved, which in turn can enhance learning. Researcher Dr. Robert Bjork explains it by saying, for example, some items may be strongly imprinted in our brain– say, a childhood phone number– but may be difficult to retrieve quickly due to how long it’s been since that information in the brain has been accessed.