Forgetting old memories to form new ones

Roheeni Saxena, for Ars Technica:

Focusing on the process itself, the researchers found that the selective retrieval of the second association caused forgetting of the first association. When subjects were asked to recall the second associations, the competing first associations were no longer recognized at the same levels. This effect remained true for faces, objects, and scenes, indicating it is not specific to certain stimuli.

The data also showed that the competing memories were progressively more repressed. This gradual suppression of competing patterns was expected based on past studies.

It’s interesting to map the limits of our neural circuitry — to see just how limited we are, and to be able to predict how we’ll fail. Of course,¬†the strength of any design is the result of the prioritization¬†of one set of values over others.

I do love when minds contemplate themselves.