Memory Card

My ten year old asked me today, “Do our brains work like memory cards?”

He’s ten…so he should know that whatever he learns gets stored in his brain. So I knew that wasn’t quite what he was asking. With one upturned eyebrow I said, “Yes, your brain ‘saves’ what you learn.”

“No…I mean…can it become full. So after I reach , say, 2 GB, I can’t retain anymore?”

I’m sure he would have loved to hear me affirm his theory…I’m sure I would’ve gotten: “Well, then…I think I’m all filled up!”

But his comment made me remember an episode of “Married With Children.” If you’re (like me) old enough to remember Christina Applegate’s first major tv success, then you probably remember the episode where her character, Kelly, was in some kind of contest, and everyone was feeding her facts…and she was taking it all in. The catch? After a certain capacity, her brain would be able to take in new info, but by losing some of the old. And that’s how she lost…all the new info made her forget that her own father had been the football hero at his high school.

I wonder if that’s what’s happening to my five year old: he used to know square…but now that he’s learned triangle, he’s forgotten it! Messed up memory card!


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