Why can adults not remember early childhood memories? And how far back is the memory of a toddler?


Generally, most of us don’t have many memories of our early childhood years (before 4 or so). But children that age can usually remember back to important events from a year or so before that—how do they lose these memories eventually? And why can’t we recall them as adults?

In: Biology

The part of the brain which processes short term memories into longer term memories is known as the Hippocampus. In young children, it is not fully developed and so they do not have much capacity to retain long term memories. We lose a lot of memories as the years go by. Memories which are frequently revisited will persist longer. If a small child was frequently reminded of those events then they would likely persist. Otherwise they would fade like most other memories.

The majority of people don’t form memories that are ever until the age of three, as the part of the brain that makes/saves them isn’t fully developed. Hkwever, if a child an has a very strong memory, such as if they want her their mother die, or are reminded frequently of a memory, it can be retained.

When humans are about 8 their brain restructures itself and wipes out most of your old memories. This seems to just be part of preparing for maturation.

My kids forgot it all the second they were out of it. 6-8 and they can’t remember stuff we did just a few years ago.