In “Forgetting” Dr. Scott Small writes that until fairly recently, he and most other scientists believed that forgetting was simply a technical glitch, a bug in the system. For most of his 35 years as a memory specialist, he reflexively viewed retaining information as “always the noble goal” and forgetting as lamentable, to be avoided at all costs.
But recent research in neurobiology, psychology, medicine and computer science tells another story. In a boon to spouses everywhere, it turns out that mentally misplacing facts and details is not only healthy but psychologically necessary. When we draw a blank or stumble over a mislaid word, we are merely evidencing a “cognitive gift” that allows us to adapt to the tumult of our lives.
— The Wall Street Journal