Here’s why you can’t remember being a baby

By admin
15 July 2014

There may be a very good reason why your memories of childhood are so blurry, and it's got something to do with neurogenesis.

As any caring parent would, you put all your effort into creating the most perfect birthday cake for your little 2-year-old, hoping that this will be one of his/her earliest memories. You spend hours planning the party, from the helium-filled balloons to the party packs, planning on the best 2nd birthday yet.

There’s a very good chance your child will have no memories of this event.

Scientists now know why.

Infant’s memories may be wiped clean by the genesis of new brain cells. The process, neurogenesis, entails the creation of new brain cells.

In infants of mammals, including humans, new neurons are produced in the hippocampus, the area of the brain that deals with learning and memory, at a high rate. The hippocampus houses a cell-making factory, about the size of a few blueberries. This small factory is one of the only parts of the brain that creates new neurons.

Scientists have performed a study in rodents, who like humans, have blank spots in their early memories. They found that as the mice age, the birthrate of neurons slows down. Additionally, as neurons spawn, their memory becomes worse.

The study was published in the journal, Science

Children typically start making long-term memories around the time they start speaking.


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