Remembering everything has always been considered as one of the first signs of high intelligence. Since we start schooling, we are encouraged to remember and repeat everything and most of school and college grades actually depend on your ability to learn things by heart, remember and reproduce them. But, is remembering really a sign of high IQ?

Recent studies disagree. In contrary, contemporary scientists say that people who often forget are actually more intelligent. Memory is important for our brain, but the actual function of memory is to help us in decision-making and prepare us for the future. Although many people think memory’s primary function is learning things by heart, they are everything but right. Contrary to a popular belief, forgetting is an important part of memory.

There are of course people who have a detailed memory of every event. That is a rare state of a brain, called hyperthymesia.  Although you may think these people are very lucky to have hyperthymesia, you cannot be more wrong. Our brain protects us from bad and painful memories by making us forget.

Without forgetting, we would constantly be stuck in the past and could not focus on the present. Besides this, by making us forget, the brain cleans its “hard drive” and makes clear space for new and more important information. This means that, when you forget things you have learned by heart, your brain actually works in your favor. It gives you an opportunity to learn and process new information. In the same time, this is a sign of a healthy brain that has the ability to decide whether certain information is relevant or not.

Your brain is also aware of the accessibility of information around you, and according to that, does not memorize the things it knows you will be able to access easily. This is why you forget the lyrics of the songs or phone numbers. Your brain is well aware that you can find them at a glance and does not want to burden itself with such information.