Summary of “The forgotten part of memory”

“What is memory without forgetting?” asks Oliver Hardt, a cognitive psychologist studying the neurobiology of memory at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
“To have proper memory function, you have to have forgetting.”
Researchers are still pinpointing the details, but they know that autobiographical memories – those of events experienced personally – begin to take lasting form in a part of the brain called the hippocampus, in the hours and days that follow the event.
Much is still unknown about how memories are created and accessed, and addressing such mysteries has consumed a lot of memory researchers’ time.
It’s a remarkable oversight, says Michael Anderson, who studies cognitive neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, UK. “Every species that has a memory forgets. Full stop, without exception. It doesn’t matter how simple the organism is: if they can acquire lessons of experience, the lessons can be lost,” he says.
Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, is involved in moderating a host of behaviours in the fly brain, and Davis proposed that this chemical messenger might also play a part in memory.
If forgetting is truly a well-regulated, innate part of the memory process, he says, it makes sense that dysregulation of that process could have negative effects.
More memory researchers are shifting their focus to examine how the brain forgets, as well as how it remembers.

The orginal article.