Essay on Childhood Amnesia

Essay on Childhood Amnesia

Length: 2352 words (6.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Childhood Amnesia

A fundamental aspect of human memory is that the more time elapsed since an event, the fainter the memory becomes. This has been shown to be true on a relatively linear scale with the exception of our first three to four years of life (Fitzgerald, 1991). It is even common for adults not to have any memory before the age of six or seven. The absence of memory in these first years has sparked much interest as to how and why it happens. Ever since Freud (1916/1963) first popularized the phenomenon there have been many questions and few robust empirical studies. Childhood amnesia is defined as the period of life from which no events are remembered (Usher & Neisser, 1993) beginning at birth and ending at the onset of your first memories. The implications of why this occurs are important for the understanding of how our memory system develops and the memory formation process. Research Limitations: There have been many hypothesized causes for childhood amnesia but very little strong evidence to support them. This problem arises out of the difficulty of obtaining reliable information pertaining to this area of study. Research is only as good as the information used. Most studies have used adult participants who are asked to report their earliest memories and the date. There are several factors contributing to the unreliability of this data. In a self-report method, people often have difficulty pinpointing what their earliest memory is and even more difficulty getting an accurate date. Verification of the memories is also a problem since it is nearly impossible to design and conduct a study that observes the initial experience to compare with the subsequent recall. The experience reported by a participant can often be...


... middle of paper ...


...ucture, connections and maturity of the brain. The second regards the lack of functional capabilities present during this time period. We do have evidence that suggests infants do retain information for long periods of time so we can conclude that some mechanisms for storage of memory exist in the first few months of life. The only solid evidence regarding this phenomenon is the age at which adults can recall their first experiences (approximately three years old). There is no dispute that the first three years of life are essential to the development and growth throughout the rest of childhood and adolescence. In reference to this fact, it is quite odd that we can remember very few specific events from this time frame. Perhaps the only the most important knowledge is retained; the implicit, procedural and motor knowledge that will aid us for the rest of our lives.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Childhood Amnesia

- Childhood Amnesia A fundamental aspect of human memory is that the more time elapsed since an event, the fainter the memory becomes. This has been shown to be true on a relatively linear scale with the exception of our first three to four years of life (Fitzgerald, 1991). It is even common for adults not to have any memory before the age of six or seven. The absence of memory in these first years has sparked much interest as to how and why it happens. Ever since Freud (1916/1963) first popularized the phenomenon there have been many questions and few robust empirical studies....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
2352 words (6.7 pages)

Childhood Amnesia and the Beginnings of Memory for Four Early Life Events

- When we ask people to recall experiences, they rarely report memories dating from much before about three years of age. For the purpose of this assessment I have chosen the ‘Childhood Amnesia and the Beginnings of Memory for Four Early Life Events’ conducted by JoNell A. Usher and Ulric Neisser, published in 1993 in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Therefore, in the following paragraphs I will outline the aim of the study, the methodology and the overall findings. The current research indicates that most of the early memories are of distressing experiences....   [tags: Social Studies]

Powerful Essays
1212 words (3.5 pages)

The Difference Between A Memory Slip And Amnesia Essay example

- Introduction As a human it is normal to forget information, however it is important to realize the difference between a memory slip and amnesia. Amnesia is defined as an inability to recall information that is stored in the memory. In largescale it’s a loss of memory that should never have been forgotten. As research has been conducted science has gained knowledge about the causes, symptoms, types and treatments of amnesia. Amnesia Normal memory function involves many parts of the brain, and any disease, injury or psychological problem can interfere with the brains function....   [tags: Amnesia, Hippocampus, Traumatic brain injury]

Powerful Essays
952 words (2.7 pages)

The Difference Between A Memory Slip And Amnesia Essay examples

- As a human it is normal to forget information, however it is important to realize the difference between a memory slip and amnesia. Amnesia is defined as an inability to recall information that is stored in the memory. In largescale it’s a loss of memory that should never have been forgotten. As research has been conducted science has gained knowledge about the causes, symptoms, types and treatments of amnesia. Normal memory function involves many parts of the brain, and any disease, injury or psychological problem can interfere with the brains function Amnesia can result from damage to brain structures that form the limbic system, which controls your emotions and memories....   [tags: Amnesia, Hippocampus, Traumatic brain injury]

Powerful Essays
992 words (2.8 pages)

Types Of Amnesi Retrograde And Anterograde Amnesia Essay

- There are two main forms of amnesia that this article will focus on and they will be retrograde and anterograde amnesia. Retrograde amnesia is “a deficit in memory characterized by an inability to remember past events” (Purdy, Markham, Schwartz, and Gordon 2001). This means that any memory before an accident or a surgery can (will be) lost. Retrograde amnesia is has puzzled many people. “The fact that information acquired before the onset of amnesia can be lost (retrograde amnesia) has fascinated psychologists, biologists, and clinicians for over 100 years.” (Squire, Alvarez 1995)....   [tags: Hippocampus, Traumatic brain injury, Amnesia]

Powerful Essays
1454 words (4.2 pages)

Questions On Dissociative Disorder And Dissociative Amnesia Essay

- Article one: Staniloiu, Markowitsch, and Bielefeld (2010) Summary. Staniloiu Markowitsch (2010) started by going into detail with the conditions of dissociated amnesia and how it is been studied in recent years, also with basic information of dissociated amnesia. Next they described how dissociative disorders and trauma and how they correlate with one another, by showing brain scans of patients with both traumatic brain injury amnesia and dissociative amnesia. After that they compare notes of cases of dissociated amnesia or possible dissociative amnesia with other authors reports with their own brain imaging pictures....   [tags: Traumatic brain injury, Brain, Mental disorder]

Powerful Essays
1406 words (4 pages)

Loss of Consciousness from Brain Injury Versus Amnesia Essays

- Loss of Consciousness from Brain Injury Versus Amnesia Brain injuries have been traditionally classified as mild, moderate and severe based upon the duration of loss of consciousness and memory. More recently these classifications have been reconsidered based upon the length and severity of amnesia (4).. How can you measure loss of consciousness and memory. How does the length of amnesia better predict the severity of a brain injury versus the traditional method of classifying brain injury based upon the length of loss consciousness....   [tags: Biology Essays Research Papers]

Powerful Essays
1327 words (3.8 pages)

Amnesia: Who Are You Anyway? Essay

- Amnesia: Who Are You Anyway. "Should the soul of a prince, carrying with it the consciousness of the prince's past life, enter and inform the body of a cobbler, as soon as deserted by his own soul, every one sees he would be the same person with the prince, accountable only for the prince's actions: but who would say it was the same man?" --"Of Identity and Diversity", John Locke "Where am I. How did I get here?" "You were in a car accident last night. You're in the hospital, but you will be fine" "Accident....   [tags: Biology Essays Research Papers]

Powerful Essays
1206 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Retrograde and Anterograde Amnesia

- Retrograde and Anterograde Amnesia "Darling, what did you say was Sue's number?" "I don't remember stripping at Dan's birthday party last year!" "No officer, I don't know what happened after the accident. I can't even remember my name." Amnesia is the partial or complete loss of memory, most commonly is temporary and for only a short period of time. (1). There are various degrees of amnesia with the most commonly occurrence being either retrograde or anterograde amnesia. Prior to my research into this subject I did not know much about amnesia besides what is portrayed in the Disney movie Anesthesia in which Anesthesia cannot remember her traumatic childhood....   [tags: Biology Essays Research Papers]

Powerful Essays
789 words (2.3 pages)

Infantile Amnesia Essay examples

- Our brains are constantly at work processing and retrieving information. However, we become frustrated when we cannot readily retrieve information that we have stored in our brains. The inability to remember can occur for a number of reasons that range from simple forgetting to phenomena like Infantile Amnesia. Infantile Amnesia is described as an adult's inability to remember events before the age of two or three. This phenomena has proven difficult to test because your "memory is in a constant state of reconstruction", (Rupp, 1998, p....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
573 words (1.6 pages)