Forgetting things is frustrating and unproductive - I mean, I KNOW I put my wallet in a safe place somewhere - but it turns out it’s not necessarily as bad as you might think.
As Vanessa Hill explains in the new episode of Braincraft, there may actually be important reasons why we forget. There are two main theories on why we lose memories: the decay theory, which suggests we can’t retrieve information because it fades over time, and the interference theory, which suggests that new memories compete with and replace our old ones.
On the molecular level both these theories involve an ongoing battle between a “forgetting” protein known as musashi, and a “remembering” one, called adducin. Neuroscientists are now creating worms without musashi in order to understand more about the action of these proteins, in the hopes that it might help scientists find ways to help people with memory disorders.
But although it would be nice to tweak all of our brains to produce more adducin than musashi, this would unfortunately not be sustainable. Because forgetting actually helps us remember.
Watch the episode above to find out more about the molecular mechanisms that control our memory, and what happens to worms who don’t have musashi.