The researchers said that while they are not certain why such lapses occur, they were necessary for the brain to consolidate memories.
The researchers also added that disturbing the memory lapses could prevent memories from being formed.
"Scientists have long wondered why the brain shows these memory lapses. Here we showed that lapses in memory coincide with periods when consolidation of memory is susceptible to disturbances from outside the memory network. Changes in the molecular pathways underlying consolidation are responsible for these periods of vulnerability", Dr Ildiko Kemenes, who worked on the study, said.