Why can’t we remember things that happened before we were 6-8 years old?

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Why can’t we remember things that happened before we were 6-8 years old?

In: Biology

I have flashes of memories from before I was four. We were living outside Marion, Indiana. My flashes include :

> laying on the couch during a rally severe thunderstorm at night
> the landscape of a house across the road from ours
> being in a hospital bed after I had a bad reaction to a prescription

My family moved to upstate New York when I was four, and we have no pictures of the above.

Not sure why you can’t, but I have memories from preschool including before my first sibling was born when I was 3 and a half.

Your brain either decided that nothing before then was important enough to hang on to, or to protect you from something bad that happened early in life by denying you conscious access.

Read this one somewhere recently,can’t recall where. Basically, for humans, we need vocabulary to attach memories to. No or few words (because you’re 2 or 3) means you’re brain can’t attach a memory to anything.

The hard cutoff is 2ish, but long term memory is a struggle till 6ish. It’s evolutionarily advantageous for the brain to be easily reprogrammed until you get to the higher learning skills.

According to my psych 101 textbook, it’s not well understood. It’s called childhood amnesia, though.