There exist faint or foggy periods in the childhood of everybody which can’t be remembered at all. However, the memories of childhood one remembers are probably be garbled and hazy. This common phenomenon has been experienced pretty much by everyone and is well known as the childhood amnesia. The causes of childhood amnesia are fairly a mystery. Following are the four hypotheses explaining the reasons why the pre-kindergarten days are not remembered by the individuals. Following hypothesis can basically be considered as few major reasons of; why we forget our childhood memories:-
1. The Underdeveloped Brain
One of the basic reasons of not remembering the childhood memories is that the infants are not able to lay down the long lasting memories because the brains of the babies are not completely developed. This fact has been argued by many of the famous neuroscientists after number of studies. As infants, certain types of the memories can be made. There are two brain systems which are necessary for making of memory, these are; medial temporal lobe and the hippocampus. These brain systems develop with the passage of time. However, prefrontal cortex completely matures after the age of twenties. The neuroscientists consider that brain’s this region helps to form the episodic memories. Before the partially development of prefrontal cortex, one might be capable of recalling the skills or recognizing the items, but full scenes of memory will not be committed .
2. Limited Language
Some of the psychologists say that the individual cannot remember the infancy due to the reasons that memories cannot be outlined in linguistic terms and therefore never be stored or organized properly. For instance, during the visit to a doctor first time, one might not be surrounded or familiar by “scales” “stethoscopes,” and “syringes”, therefore, probably consider the things differently as described by the words. Thus, the memories of pre-verbal days may be less bright because the whole schema to represent the life was different. Although language is not needed to form the memories, yet it helps to rehearse them. One may not be able to recall the time when he wet his jeans/ shorts in the third grade until he would have been reminded. The result of this is mainly in form of some hazy memories of some clips and snapshots without any understandable knowledge of the situation .
3. No Sense of Self
Some of the psychologists also believe that the infants are required to develop the self-sense before developing the memories related to the things taken place to them; this kind of reminiscences is known as the autobiographical memories. The babies who really don’t recognize who are they will probably have a hard time to recognize the things which are personally relevant to them. For understanding this hypothesis, an experiment on the self-recognition and memory was conducted. The Hark Howe, a psychologist, experienced whether the infants were capable of recognizing them in mirror or not. He let few of the kids to play with a teddy toy and told them to put the teddy into a drawer of their room for safekeeping. The kids were brought back after two weeks in the same room and asked to search for the teddy toy and revealed that only infants who recognized them in mirror were only able to remember that where teddy was stashed. Those with no memory could not recognize that where poor Teddy was .
4. No Retrieval Cues
Other psychologists believe that no problem will be happened regarding making the memories. But there are problems of recalling the memories as long as one grows older. It’s quite possible to forget the childhood memories because of the reasons of absence of context cues which help to activate the memories. It is a fact that despite one have lived in same house throughout the life; still the world would be fairly different as compared to a baby life. A first birthday party should be recalled by oneself. The furniture surrounded, the food which was very solid to eat, and unknown people were speaking strange language which was not understood. However, as in older ages nothing has to be recalled and needs not to be introduced by anybody either by mama, baba or grandpa. The infancy may be forgotten because the retrieval cues in the childhood are difficult to get hold of .
A child when grows old usually tend to forget most of the childhood memories due to various reasons including underdeveloped brain, language limitations, having no sense of self and having no retrieval cues. All of these reasons add up to the result of forgetting most of the childhood memories. There may be various other reasons in support of forgetting childhood memories; however, these few are the major ones considered for inclusion in this paper as most of the scholarly sources agree on all of these without any doubt.
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