5-speed listening (Forgetting - Level 3)

Scientists know more about how we forget



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Some people are very forgetful, while others can remember everything they have done. Scientists know a lot about how our brains store and remember facts and experiences. There is little research on how or why the brain forgets things. A new study looks at forgetting. A team of researchers from the USA studied the brain's process of forgetting things. The researchers are cognitive neuroscientists. They study the brain and how it thinks and works. Their work may help people who have memory problems. It may also help those with depression and dementia. The lead scientist, Marie Banich, said: "It may sound surprising that people can control what and how they forget."

Professor Banich said forgetting is important. She said it keeps the brain working smoothly. Her research found ways that people remove information from their brain. She said: "We have control over the ability to remove information from…our thoughts." This is important because it means we can focus on more important tasks. However, although we can control what and how we forget, the act of forgetting needs a lot of effort. Another researcher, Sara Festini, agreed. She said: We've found that intentionally forgetting no-longer-relevant information from the mind is beneficial, but it doesn't happen automatically." Researchers will now look at why we forget recent events, like where we left our keys.

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