The phrase "goldfish memory" is a colloquial term used to describe someone's or something's purportedly short or poor memory, often implying that it is comparable to that of a goldfish. The idea behind this phrase is the belief that goldfish have a very brief memory span and quickly forget things, sometimes within a matter of seconds.
However, the concept of goldfish having extremely short memories is largely a myth and a misunderstanding of their cognitive abilities. While goldfish do not have the same type of memory as humans or other animals, research has shown that they are capable of retaining information for more than a few seconds.
Studies have demonstrated that goldfish can remember and learn from past experiences, recognize their owners, and even navigate mazes. Their memory span may be closer to a few months rather than mere seconds. Goldfish are also known to have spatial memory, allowing them to remember the layout of their environment.
So, the notion that goldfish have exceptionally short memories is not scientifically accurate. While their memory may not be as complex as that of some other animals, they are capable of retaining and using information to some extent. The term "goldfish memory" is often used humorously or metaphorically to describe human forgetfulness rather than reflecting the actual memory abilities of goldfish.