Suppressing Unwanted Memories by Executive Control

There’s failing to learn lessons from the distant past, and then there’s the politically-motivated forgetting of lessons you learned during your own f*ing presidency. Psychologists have a name for this: “Suppressing Unwanted Memories by Executive Control.”

Apparently, Freud said that people can block an unpleasant memory – but that it’s still in there somewhere and has consequences even though they don’t know why.

That theory has been expanded by modern science, which has found a “biological mechanism in the human brain to block unwanted memories … a clear neurobiological basis for motivated forgetting.”

Researchers at Stanford University and the University of Oregon found that controlling unwanted memories is “associated with increased activation of the left and right frontal cortex (the part of the brain used to repress memory), which in turn led to reduced activation of the hippocampus (the part of the brain used to remember experiences). In addition, the researchers found that the more subjects activated their frontal cortex during the experiment, the better they were at suppressing unwanted memories.”

People used to say that Obama is the “smartest president in history.” I think we finally have solid proof of that fact. His frontal cortex is working overtime to oppress his hippocampus.

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