Study suggests brain remembers experiences based on cognitive effort.

Have you ever wondered why certain experiences stick in your memory while others fade into the background? According to a recent study, it might have to do with how hard your brain has to work to process them.

Researchers at Yale University conducted a study to investigate what makes certain visual information more memorable than others. By combining a computational model of scene complexity with behavioral experiments, they aimed to uncover patterns in memory formation.

Published in the journal Nature Human Behavior, the findings revealed an interesting insight: the brain tends to prioritize remembering experiences that are challenging to process. In other words, if an event or scene is too predictable or easy to understand, it may be disregarded by the brain.

Ilker Yildirim, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Yale, explained, “The mind prioritizes remembering things that it is not able to explain very well. If a scene is predictable and not surprising, it might be ignored.”

To test this hypothesis, the researchers conducted experiments where participants were shown sequences of natural images in rapid succession and asked to recall specific ones. They observed that images that were more difficult for a computational model to reconstruct were more likely to be remembered by the participants.

John Lafferty, Professor of Statistics and Data Science at Yale, highlighted the potential implications of their findings for the development of memory systems in artificial intelligence (AI). By understanding how humans perceive scenes and retain information, researchers hope to enhance the efficiency of memory systems in AI models.