Turns out adults who can still recall the original 151 Pokémon have a very specific part of their brains to thank for that.
Recalling memories from our childhood is an odd phenomenon. Something that happened 25 years ago can feel like a very long time ago while also still feel as if it happened just yesterday. It's a strange feeling that is hard to describe, but one all of us will have experienced on an almost daily basis.
A lot of the things we can recall seem pretty arbitrary too. Traumas and happy moments stick with us, but so do a few boring ones that don't seem to have shaped us in any way at all. Speaking of happy memories, chances are many of you reading this were Pokémon fans as children, and might still be today. However, there are far more Pocket Monsters to get to grips with than there were in the 90s.
Almost 800 more, in fact. The franchise started with just 151 Pokémon, and those of us who loved the TV show, trading cards, and video games 20 years ago can almost definitely still name every last one of them. Scientists at UC Berkley have discovered that those of us who can recall the original 151 after all these years can do so thanks to a specific fold in our brains, reports Vice.
The research showed that the fold in the brain known as the occipitotemporal sulcus is the one responsible for our abilities to recall Pokémon with ease after all these years. MRI scans were performed on 11 "Pokémon experts" and the results were compared with those who didn't play Pokémon games at all. The experts showed a consistent brain development in the visual cortex.
The way in which most of us were first exposed to Pokémon likely plays a part in that consistency. Most old school Pokémon fans will have spent hours acquainting themselves with all of the franchise's fictional creatures on a Game Boy screen. That we were viewing them right in the center of our vision, and all seeing them at the same size in the same way, explains why all of the experts studied had Pokémon stored in their brains in the same way. If you can recall the OG 151 too, chances are you have that fold to thank.