Whenever I teach memory in a Child Development class at Rutgers University, I ask students to remember their first memories . In between memoirs, some students talk about the first day of school, some talk about when they were hurt or upset, and others talk about the day their younger sibling was born. Despite the vast differences in the details of the memoirs, they all had one thing in common: they were all autobiographical memories, not typically before the age of two or three! In fact, most people do not have the ability to recall the events of the first few years of their lives! Has been. In fact, this is a phenomenon that researchers have called Infantile Amnesia. But why can't we remember what happened to us as a baby? Does memory start working at a certain age?
Babies have the ability to form memories!
It is interesting to know that in the first few days of life, babies can remember their mother's face and recognize it as a stranger. In a few months, the baby will be able to recognize the faces of those he sees most by smiling at them.
There are different types of memory in humans in addition to autobiographical memory, one of which is semantic memory. memory). In fact, this memory stores real information such as the names of different types of iPhones or the capitals of countries. There is also another procedure called procedural memory, which is related to how an action is performed, for example, process memory helps you to remember to open the front door or drive a car or bicycle! Research by Caroline Rowe-Kalier Psychological Laboratory in the 1980s and 1990s showed that infants can form some of these memories from an early age. Of course, since babies can not tell you exactly what they remember, this research team developed a method that was quite sensitive to the baby's body and abilities (which are changing rapidly); In this way, they were able to assess their memory over a long period of time.
Interesting memory test in infants
The first version of the study was performed on infants 2 to 6 months of age, and the procedure was that researchers placed a baby in a crib with a crib over his head. They then measured the amount of kicking and movement of the baby's legs in order for the baby to naturally move its legs. Moves, the pendant moves! As you may have guessed, babies learn quickly to control the movement of the crib. So, since they like to see the pendant spinning and moving, they kick more than the first step and shake their legs. Such a procedure shows that the infant has learned that kicking and moving the legs cause the crib to move above the bed.
The next study on infants 6 to 18 months was similar to the previous experiment, except that instead of lying down Pulling a baby in bed (which this age group does not do for a long time), they sit on their parents' knees and place their hands on a lever that moves a toy train on a railroad track.
But what do these tests have to do with memory? ?
The smartest part of this study is that after teaching infants in both age groups, the researchers examined the recall of what was taught to infants a few days later! When the babies returned to the lab, the researchers showed them a bed or train hanger and checked to see if the babies still remember to push the lever and kick the hanger.The results of these tests showed that each The older babies are, the more likely they are to be reminded. They also found that by increasing training time, infants could remember events for longer. Using this method, Caroline Rowe-Collier and colleagues found that at 6 months, if infants were trained for one minute, they could memorize the event the next day. The older babies are, the more likely they are to be reminded. They also found that by extending the training time to a longer length, infants could remember events for longer.
Why do infants not have a autobiographical memory?
Now that we have seen from these experiments that infants have the ability to form memories in the first few months of life, we have to ask why people do things from Do not remember the early stages of their lives? In answer to such questions, it must be admitted that to this day no one knows for sure what is going on, but scientists have some conjectures in this regard.
One conjecture is that autobiographical memoirs require some degree of They know themselves. This means that you need to be able to think about your behavior by considering relationships with others. In this regard, it is interesting to know that in the past, researchers have tested this ability using their own diagnostic test in the mirror called the Rouge Test.
The process of this test was such that on the nose The baby was drawn red dots with a blush and then the baby was placed in front of a mirror. Babies under 18 months old just smiled at the funny baby in the mirror, showing no sign of recognizing themselves or a red mark on their face. Babies between 18 and 24 months were touching their noses! They even looked a little embarrassed, because they knew the red spot on their nose was relevant and somewhat emotional.Of course, it should be noted that a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is largely responsible for memory Is not fully developed in infancy.
Another possible explanation for the lack of autobiographical memory is that because infants are unable to speak until the end of the second year of life, they are unable to create narratives of their lives that they can later recall and tell to others. Finally, you should know that the hippocampus, which is largely responsible for memory in the brain, does not fully develop in infancy. So scientists will continue to look at these different conjectures and conclude why you can not remember many things from life before you were 2 years old.
- How the brain Maintains and reminds information?
For more information and details, you can read the original article entitled "Why can't you remember being born, learning to walk, or saying your first words? What scientists know about infantile amnesia.
Source: ars TECHNICA