Our Earliest Memories

Where did they go?

My article described the common misconception of what happens to our earliest memories. Most believe that we forget our early years of 4  to 7 as adults because they happened too long ago to be remembered. This is incorrect. Those memories are doomed to be lost no matter what.

During a study, children were asked to remember their earlier memories on two separate occasions. The first time questioned, they were between ages 2 and 4 and could remember as far as 6 months of memories. Two years later they were questioned again, this time with different results. Shockingly, most if not all of the same children could not remember the memories they had described once before. Why?

Research suggests that most of our memories in older age, are from ages 15 to 30. This is because of what is referred to as shredding, where the memories are so fragile they aren't as well structured to be held on to. Shredding becomes less of an issue in later years because we are more capable of forming complete memories. The reason the memories from ages 15-30 are stronger than others, is because most of our better moments of finding ourselves occur in those years.

I found this article both shocking and somewhat upsetting. It was interesting to me that these memories are so frail to be remembered, but at the same time it was disappointing because I too would like to know what happened then.


Comment Stream