Infantile Amnesia

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When reading through the material, one topic that interested me was the idea of infantile amnesia. This is the term given for fact that humans do not have any memories before the age of three or four years old. Personally this is in line with my first memory, which was of a party for my fourth birthday. This idea explains that although some people claim to have their first memory before the age of two, these memories are almost always either false memories that actually did not occur, or memories that actually have taken place, but later in person's life. Evidence for these finds include the brain structure and development of an infant not having the capability to support memory function. It has been shown that the hippocampus plays a crucial role in the ability to perform long-term memory. In infants the hippocampus is only partially developed making it likely that we do not have the ability to support maintaining and storing memories. Other theories state that infants do not have an understanding of a "self", making it impossible to store memories in any meaningful way.
These findings give insight to contradict the theories and ideas of certain belief systems. One theory that was reviewed in the book was a belief maintained by people who believe in scientology. The theory states that many people remember stressful and degrading conversations that took place while a person is still a fetus. The believe that these conversations are thought to cause depression and low self-esteem later in life. The findings from infantile amnesia state that this is actually impossible.

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This page contains a single entry by harr1324 published on October 23, 2011 10:49 PM.

False Memory Controversy and Legal Skeptisism was the previous entry in this blog.

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