Infantile Amnesia

Forgotten memories may be retrievable

Do you remember taking your very first step, or enjoying your second birthday party? Probably not, but that probably won't seem weird to you because we have become conditioned to accept infantile amnesia as a fact of life.

Aug 08, 2017
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Childhood amnesia refers to the inability of adults to retrieve episodic memories before the age of 2-4 years, as well as the period before age 10 of which adults remember fewer memories than accounted for by the passage of time. For the first 1-2 years of life, brain structures such as the limbic system, which includes the hippocampus and the amygdala and is involved in memory storage, are not yet fully developed (CITE). Research has demonstrated that children can remember events from before the age of 3-4 years, but that these memories are somehow lost through the elementary and middle school years.

When the offset of childhood amnesia is defined as the age of first memory, then offset occurs around 3.5 years though it can range from 2-5 years, depending memory retrieval method However, when the offset of Childhood Amnesia is defined as the age at which the majority of memories are personal recollections rather than known events, then offset occurs at approximately 4.7 years old.

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