Dr Catherine Loveday, Principal Lecturer in Psychology discussed infant amnesia on BBC Radio Berkshire. 

Dr Loveday started by exploring whether we are able to remember things from as young as six months old.

“Most of the evidence we’ve got suggests that it’s not possible for the brain to really hang on to memories from that time but people have all sorts of other experiences and general knowledge that allow them to construct a memory as if it’s entirely real, so we all do that all the time.”

Asked about what is the age that most of us start to remember from, Dr Catherine Loveday explained that usually it’s from the age of two but also noted this age could vary and be much higher for some people.

Speaking about the reason behind this age difference, Dr Loveday said that many factors can determine the age when a person starts to remember from.

“Obviously children do remember. It’s not as though a year-old baby doesn’t have some recollection of what happened to them the day before, it is just that memories naturally decay with time anyway. The areas of the brain that we need to fix those memories in our mind for a long period are still not very mature at that point.”

Adding to that, she said: “It’s about language and being able to speak, so there’s some really good evidence that shows that we can’t really make proper recollective memories until we can label them and talk to people about them, so we need the language in order to make those kind of memories.”

Listen to Dr Catherine Loveday on BBC Berkshire here.

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