Forgetting To Remember

NYT's Forgetting May Be Part of the Process of Remembering cites a report in the journal Nature Neuroscience. Basically, maintaining cognitive control demands that we forget things, much in the same respect it demands that we remember certain other things. Two sides of the same coin, when you think about it. Or, as the report phrases it:

"Remembering often requires the selection of goal-relevant memories in the face of competition from irrelevant memories."

So, in order to remember to get your proverbial shit together, you may inadvertently force yourself to forget some irrelevant trivia (or perhaps things you know you can look up anyway). I know that ever since I read that Einstein never bothered to remember anything he could look up, I've tried to give myself permission to let easily retrieved information fall out of my head to make room for other ideas and processes. For example, I don't remember your phone number any more because I know my phone remembers it for me.

Does this happen to you? Are you aware of any similar process in your own memory selection?

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