What Is Childhood Amnesia?

Scientists have been able to establish when memories of the very first years of life begin to disappear. The earliest memories are erased at the age of seven, as Business Standard reports.


The phenomenon is called childhood amnesia. In fact, children need memory to process new information, meanwhile, only a few adults are able to recall what happened to them before the age of three.

Childhood amnesia statistics

Specialists from Emory University questioned more than eighty-three children aged three years and older about the events of their lives. They were asked to recall the same events at five, six, seven, eight, and nine years. Thus, the scientists managed to get the first experimental evidence of childhood amnesia. In addition, adults’ surveys suggest that the earliest memories relate to the age of three.

Parents against childhood amnesia

When the survey involved parents, many fathers and mothers have successfully followed the child’s train of thought. In this case, the scientists could draw more details from the memory of the three-year-olds. It has been revealed that at the age of five to seven a kid could remember from 63 to 72 percent of the events that happened to him/her, and at the age of eight or nine – not more than 35 percent .

Research goes on

Scholars disagree about the causes of childhood amnesia. It has only been proved that young children use memories for language acquisition and for understanding of the surrounding world. A small child has not yet established a complex neural architecture, necessary for the formation and retention of the most complex memories.

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