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Memory is part of our ancient survival kit—but how do we make a Stone Age brain work for us today? Whether we’re trying to retain information or maintain our optimism, it helps to know how memory functions.

Why do we have the capacity to make and access memories? The most likely explanation is that this function evolved not so much to allow us to recall the past, but to inform us how to react in the present and attempt to predict the future. Knowing this can be useful to us as we look for ways to retain information, and it can also help us to manage our expectations.

Think about the context

Need to remember something? Studies show that our ...

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