He clearly remembers the time he slipped on the ice 8 years ago, but his first day on the job, he forgot about it. Why do we retain some data as memories and not others? Scientists have discovered a new criterion that would influence this process and they call it “predictive value”, according to a paper published in the Journal of Neuroscience. Priority would be stored for information that would better anticipate future events.
our memory is limited
“Since (long-term) memory has limited capacity and resources, memory systems must prioritize the information to be encoded.”, explain researchers from Yale University (USA). Since 2017, science has identified several factors that may deserve a place in the precious mental space that stores our memories. Among these known criteria are attention, emotion, motivation, stress and sleep. “Here we test a new factor that limits long-term memory formation: predictive value.” researchers announce.
Because long-term memory is not only used to remember the past, but also to make predictions that help us behave appropriately and effectively in the face of a new experience.