Infantile amnesia: Why can't we remember our childhood?
We all have that one event that we will remember for the rest of our lives, whether it is a happy memory such as a wedding, childbirth, a successful birthday or a less happy one such as an accident or the death of a beloved one. However, no matter how well our brain performs, it is impossible for us to remember our childhood memories.
Episodic memory and semantic memory.
The memory of a person can be categorized into two types: episodic memory and semantic memory. The semantic memory is the memory linked to events, it is this memory that allows us to remember the events with their date, place and the emotions felt at the time. While the semantic memory is the memory that allows us to remember the Pythagoras's Theorem or Thales's theorem.
Our episodic memory and our childhood memories.
It has been scientifically proven on several occasions that an event that took place during our childhood can have an impact throughout our lives. However, it is impossible for us to remember our childhood before the age of two, and we have very few memories of our childhood before the age of 6. There are several theories that try to justify our infantile amnesia. The one that interests us has to do with our episodic memory. This theory is quite simple: episodic memory is located in the hippocampus, but before the age of two, the hippocampus is not in full maturation, and it would be impossible to remember this part of our childhood simply because it has not been stored. However, there are people who claim to remember this part of their childhood. It is much more likely that their brain has made a recollection of pictures or stories told them by their parents.