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Childhood amnesia

Childhood Amnesia refers to the inability of adults to remember events from their infancy and early childhood. Typically, most people can't accurately remember anything form their very early life - i.e. before 2yrs, and in some individuals up to 6yrs.

In general, the number of accurately recalled memories tends to increase gradually as a function of age (within limits).

Proposed explanations for this universal phenomenon go back as far as the times of the Ancient Greek philosophers.

Theories include the ideas, for example, that :

[1] The brain has not yet developed an efficient memory system in early years

[2] The very early memories are stored, but access is lost later in life

[3] The brain has some kind of age-selective 'forgetting' mechanism

None of the explanations have currently been accepted as a full science-based explanation.

Research efforts are hampered by the difficulties associated with memories in general - which are notoriously unreliable. For example, people may be convinced that they can accurately recall a very early memory, when in reality they are recalling a photo they were shown later in their childhood.

Further reading : Memory for the Events of Early Childhood Current Directions in Psychological Science. 8 (2): 46โ€“48 [ archived ]

Note: Sigmund Freud famously presented several claims about Childhood Amnesia, but without any scientific evidence of any kind to back them up.


Also see : Memoryplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigMemory

inexplicable

"Although it is commonly accepted that learning and memory occur via enduring changes in neuronal properties such as synaptic strength within a network of neurons, many details of these processes remain unknown, including the mechanisms responsible for the persistence and maintenance of memory over long periods of time.
and Forgettingplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigForgetting

"Although it is commonly accepted that learning and memory occur via enduring changes in neuronal properties such as synaptic strength within a network of neurons, many details of these processes remain unknown, including the mechanisms responsible for the persistence and maintenance of memory over long periods of time."


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