What's happening

The Cuban regime must be expelled from the UN Human Rights Council

Political alignments are valid as long as they do...

Political prisoner Pedro Albert Sánchez was transferred to the National Hospital

Cuban professor and political prisoner Pedro Albert Sánchez, currently...

Elon Musk Makes a Major Promise to Iranians and Cubans

Elon Musk's prominence continues to grow. The chief executive of...

“Childhood amnesia”: why we do not remember our first years of life, according to science

Most people cannot remember the events of the first years of their lives, a phenomenon that researchers have called “infantile amnesia.” But why can’t we remember the things that happened to us when we were children? Does memory only start working at a certain age? Here’s what researchers know about babies and memory.

“Whenever I teach memory in my child development class at Rutgers University, I start by asking my students to recount their earliest memories. Some students talk about their first day of preschool; others talk about a time when they hurt each other or got angry; some cite the day their little brother was born. Despite the vast differences in detail, these memories have a couple of things in common: They are all autobiographical, or recollections of significant experiences in a person’s life, and typically did not occur before the age of 2 or 3,” he said. In dialogue with The Washington Post, Vanessa LoBue, professor of psychology specializing in infant and child development, and director of the Child Study Center.

Many scientists attribute childhood amnesia to a failure to develop the hippocampus, an area of ​​the brain crucial for encoding memory. However, a brain imaging study conducted by Yale University revealed that babies as young as three months already use the hippocampus to recognize and learn patterns, the researchers reported last year in the journal Current Biology.

Babies can form memories

“While people can’t remember much before the age of 2 or 3, research suggests that babies can form memories, just not the kind of memories that are told about oneself. In the first days of life, babies can remember their own mother’s face and distinguish it from that of a stranger. A few months later, they may show that they remember many familiar faces by smiling more at the ones they see more often,” LoBue said.

For the expert, in addition to autobiographical memories there are many others. “There are semantic memories, or factual memories, like the names of different varieties of apples or the capital of your home state. There are also the procedural memories, that is, the memories about how to carry out an action, such as opening the door of the house or driving a car, ”she maintained.

Research by psychologist Carolyn Rovee-Collier’s lab in the 1980s and 1990s showed that babies can form some of these other types of memories from a young age. Of course, they can’t say exactly what they remember. So the key to Rovee-Collier’s research was to devise a task that would be sensitive to infants’ rapid body changes and their ability to assess their memories over a long period of time.

In the version for babies 2 to 6 months, researchers place a baby in a crib with a mobile hanging above it. They measure the baby’s kicks to get an idea of ​​her natural propensity to move her legs. They then tie a string from the baby’s leg to the end of the mobile, so that every time the baby kicks, the mobile moves. As you can imagine, babies quickly learn that they are in control: they like to see the mobile move and therefore kick more than before the string was attached to their leg, showing that they have learned that kicks make the mobile move.

The version for children from 6 to 18 months is similar. But instead of lying in the cot – which this age group refuses to do for a long time – the baby sits on his parents’ lap with his hands on a lever that will eventually make the train move by one way. At first, the lever doesn’t work, and the experimenters measure how much the baby presses naturally. They then turn on the lever, and each time the baby presses it, the train moves down the track. Babies quickly relearn the game and press the lever a lot harder when it makes the train move.

What does this have to do with memory? The clever thing about this research is that after training babies on one of these tasks for a couple of days, Rovee-Collier later found that they did remember it. When the little ones returned to the laboratory, the researchers showed them the mobile or the train and measured whether they continued to kick or press the lever.

Using this method, Rovee-Collier and her colleagues found that by the time they are 6 months old, if babies are trained for one minute, they can remember an event a day later. The older the babies were, the longer they remembered. She also found that training infants for longer periods and giving them reminders – for example, showing them the mobile moving very briefly on its own – helps them remember events for longer.

Why not autobiographical memories?

If babies can form memories in their first months, why don’t people remember things from that first stage of life? “It is not yet clear whether people experience childhood amnesia because we cannot form autobiographical memories or simply because we have no way of retrieving them. No one knows for sure what’s going on, but scientists have some guesses,” LoBue said.

One is that autobiographical memories require a certain sense of self. “You have to be able to think about your behavior in terms of how it relates to others. Researchers have tested this ability in the past using a mirror recognition task called the rouge test. It consists of marking a baby’s nose with a smear of lipstick or red rouge, or ‘rouge’, as it was said in the 70s when the task was created,” the specialist stressed.

And she delved: “Next, the researchers place the baby in front of a mirror. Babies under 18 months just smile at the cute baby in the reflection, showing no sign of recognizing themselves or the red mark on her face. Between 18 and 24 months, young children touch their noses, even with embarrassment, which suggests that they associate the red dot in the mirror with their own face: they have a certain sense of self.

Another possible explanation for childhood amnesia is that, since babies do not have language until the second year of life, they cannot form stories about their own lives that they can later remember. Finally, the hippocampus, which is the region of the brain largely responsible for memory, is not fully developed in the infant period. “Scientists will continue to investigate how each of these factors may contribute to them not being able to remember much, or anything, of their lives before the age of 2,” she concluded.

Latest

After hitting western Cuba, Ian will threaten Florida as a major hurricane

Hurricane Ian, which made landfall in Cuba this Tuesday...

Cuba rides the “progressive” wave to erase past repression against homosexuals

Probably Che Guevara and Fidel Castro would deny the...

The Cuban regime must be expelled from the UN Human Rights Council

Political alignments are valid as long as they do...

Political prisoner Pedro Albert Sánchez was transferred to the National Hospital

Cuban professor and political prisoner Pedro Albert Sánchez, currently...

Don't miss

The Cuban regime must be expelled from the UN Human Rights Council

Political alignments are valid as long as they do...

Only the end of the Cuban dictatorship will end the opprobrium of political prisoners

The political prisoners of the Cuban regime are a fundamental part of its survival mechanism, they are the mechanism with which they produce fear in the population to achieve submission behaviors that would not otherwise be possible and they are the capital of international negotiation...

Communism: the religion of idiots

When speaking of socialism, two criteria are opposed. The...

The sale of foreign currency is yet another distraction of the dictatorship to buy time

“They are not going to sell dollars. They are...

The Cuban obsession with Venezuelan oil

The obsession of Fidel Castro and the entire Cuban...
José Martí
José Martí
Nacionalista cubano, poeta, filósofo, ensayista, periodista, traductor, profesor y editor.

After hitting western Cuba, Ian will threaten Florida as a major hurricane

Hurricane Ian, which made landfall in Cuba this Tuesday morning with winds of about 125 miles per hour (205 km/h), will maintain its strength...

Cuba rides the “progressive” wave to erase past repression against homosexuals

Probably Che Guevara and Fidel Castro would deny the current Cuban "revolution" if they observed the turn it has taken in favor of selling...

The Cuban regime must be expelled from the UN Human Rights Council

Political alignments are valid as long as they do not violate human rights. The representatives of the Cuban dictatorship voted this September 16 to...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here