Why You Can't Recall Being Born

Ask anyone about their earliest memory, and they’ll probably tell you something from when they were about three years old. Memories from much earlier than that are probably fake, derived from photographs or family stories. But why can’t we remember our infancy? Some research suggests that we have trouble storing long-term memories of events that occurred before we have the language to encode them. Newer research suggests that infants have to learn and develop the process of long-term memory storage.

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We know that babies form memories. Their entire job is learning, after all. Newborns quickly learn to recognize their mother’s face. They learn how to elicit a response from their parents. And as they age, their ability to learn gets better with exercise. In an experiment, when six-month-old babies were trained for one minute to activate a toy with their legs, they would remember it for a day. Older infants would remember the task for much longer. But if you spent more time training, the memories would last longer even for younger infants. Newborns see their mother’s face every day, often many times a day, so they don’t have to store that memory for a long time. As we age, we learn to remember. Maybe it takes until the age of three to learn to store permanent memories. Read more about this research at The Conversation. -via Damn Interesting

(Image credit: Carin Araujo)

Source: neatorama

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