August 23, 2003

Infantile Amnesia

[...] Some people can recall a few memories formed when they were as young as 2 or 3 years of age, but most of us can recall much more from when we were 5 or 6 years old. Studies suggest that we're not simply forgetting what happened during our earliest years; far fewer autobiographical memories exist from early childhood than simple forgetting predicts. So the fate of early memories remains puzzling; solving the mystery of infantile amnesia may go a long way towards a more general theory about how we remember and why we forget.

more...(from brainconnection)

Posted by fred1st at August 23, 2003 05:11 AM | TrackBack

Interesting. In my job as a GP I have the dubious pleasure of giving infants immunisations - they usually don't like it. Sometimes the next time they see me their reaction suggests they do seem to remember me!

Posted by: Geoff (with 2 Fs) at August 24, 2003 06:40 AM

Geoff--The "old fashioned" Pediatrician who saw to the health care needs of my children in the 1959-1969 era was so convinced that children DID remember things well that he would not give innoculations, himself. He insisted that one of his nurses do the honors on any procedure that occasioned pain to the patient.

Posted by: Cop Car at August 24, 2003 08:20 AM

Geoff-- But will they remember you five years from now from those early moments of unpleasantness? The referenced article seems to suggest NOT. Obviously, for there to be any protective learning, there HAVE to be some things even very young children learn-- permanently-- to avoid. A hand on the stove today is no good next week if immediately forgotten.

Posted by: fredf at August 24, 2003 08:42 AM

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