While some define “smart” based on the amount of information a person can retain, research from the University of Oregon indicates smarter people may actually remember less than others. At least they are better able to “strip out inessential information” leaving behind the important stuff.

The upshot, as the editors at Nature summarize, is that “this also implies that an individual’s effective memory capacity may not simply reflect storage space, as it does with a hard disk. It may also reflect how efficiently irrelevant information is excluded from using up vital storage capacity”.

Maybe instead of teaching kids to pile up lots of facts in their heads (traditional education), we need to teach the skills involved with stripping out “inessential information”.

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

memory, brain, intelligence