This Is Where Your Childhood Memories Went - Deepstash

deepstash

Beta

Deepstash brings you key ideas from the most inspiring articles like this one:

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

This Is Where Your Childhood Memories Went

http://nautil.us/issue/16/nothingness/this-is-where-your-childhood-memories-went

nautil.us

This Is Where Your Childhood Memories Went
We called them fairy rocks. They were just colorful specks of gravel—the kind you might buy for a fish tank—mixed into my preschool’s…

5

Key Ideas

Save all ideas

Childhood amnesia

Childhood amnesia

On average, people’s memories stretch back no farther than the age of three and a half.

New science suggests that when we move into adulthood, the brain must let go of much of our childhood.

250 SAVES

1.81k READS

VIEW

Our earliest memories are forgotten

  • In the early 1900s, Sigmund Freud gave childhood amnesia its name. The most commonly accepted explanation for childhood amnesia was that children couldn't form stable memories until age 7 - even though evidence for this idea was lacking.
  • In the late 1980s, experiments revealed that children three and younger keep their memories, although it is limited. At 6 months of age, infants' memories last for a day, and by age 2, for a year. At around age 6, children begin to forget many of their earliest memories.

255 SAVES

1.34k READS

The early childhood brain

From birth to our early teens, we have far more links between brain cells. The excess brain mass is very adaptable and allows children to learn very quickly.

But the adaptability comes with a price. The large and complex network in the brain is still busy growing and not as capable of forming memories efficiently as in adulthood. Consequently, long-term memories created in our first three years of life are the least stable and prone to be forgotten as we age.

242 SAVES

1.05k READS

The restructuring of memory circuits

Studies revealed that the circuits of neurons that store our earliest memories are not eliminated by neurogenesis—the growth of whole new neurons - but that they are wholly restructured, making it difficult to recall first memories.

This means that some childhood memories are missing while others persist in a patchy way.

242 SAVES

948 READS

Our memories can't be fully trusted

Even if we do have a few distinct memories that survive the cycles of growth and decay, we can never fully trust them. Some may be entirely fabricated.

The research demonstrated that our earliest memories are a blend of real recollections, stories we copied from others, and imaginary scenes dreamt up by the subconscious.

260 SAVES

1.14k READS

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Childhood Memories

Childhood Memories

Memory is essentially an activation of neural networks inside the brain, which are dynamic in nature.

We can form memories as infants, but we do not have the ability to sto...

Memory Distortion

We all can form complex false memories in us, and it can even impact our decision making and future behavior. Planting false memories in a person can be used to tackle certain disorders like obesity and alcoholism.

Memory researchers have concluded that it is possible to induce fictional memories of the past in volunteers and even make them believe in some past criminal deeds that never happened.

False Memories: Legal Issues

False memories are a challenge in legal cases, as they are indistinguishable from real memories, with any distortion being undetectable.

Certain regression therapies where patients confront their buried childhood memories are prone to ‘implantation’ of false memories in their minds.

one more idea

The Science of Memory

  1. Encoding - the stage when the brain consciously acknowledges information based on our senses. When we attach meaning or factual knowledge to any of this sensory input, that'...

Lifestyle Changes That Can Improve Memory

  • Get a good night's sleep or take a power nap after learning something new, to help retain and retrieve memories better. Sleep deprivation and acquisition of too much information will not help you save those memories.
  • Get moving, to improve the flow of oxygen-rich blood in your brain and to trigger neuron growth and new connections in the brain - critical for memory.
  • Improve your diet. Fats from food can build up the brain, resulting to poor blood flow.

Mnemonics

Any system or device designed to aid memory:

  • patterns of letters or words (common mnemonics)
  • ideas (memory palace)
  • associations (chunking)

The different kinds of memories

The different kinds of memories

We hold on to different kinds of memories.

  • Short-term memories last seconds to hours and long-term memories last for years.
  • We also have a...

Where your brain keeps memories

By studying people with amnesia, it seems that short-term and long-term memories don't form in precisely the same way, nor do declarative and procedural memories.

  • Emotional responses such as fear occur in a brain region called the amygdala.
  • Memories of learned skills are associated with the region called the striatum.
  • The hippocampus is essential for forming, retaining, and recalling declarative memories.
  • The temporal lobes play a critical role in forming and recalling memories.

How we experience memories

Memories are held within groups of neurons called cell assemblies. They fire as a group in response to a specific stimulus, such as recognising your friend's face.

The more neurons fire together, the more the interconnection of the cells strengthen. We experience the nerves' collective activity as a memory.