Memory and Amnesia

While these episodes of amnesia continue for some time other forms of amnesia such as transient global amnesia occurs in spontaneous episodes. One such typical form of amnesia is childhood amnesia (or infantile amnesia). This paper will elaborate the various aspects of childhood amnesia using the current state of research on the issue. Childhood Amnesia Childhood amnesia may suggest that this form of amnesia afflicts children yet the opposite is true. Childhood amnesia affects an adult’s ability to recall certain memories typically memories formed between the age of two years to four years. Certain classifications of childhood amnesia also include the period up to ten years of age where memories are not entirely lost but a significant portion may be lost (Robinson-Riegler Robinson-Riegler, 2012, pp. 272–276). The onset of childhood amnesia tends to become stronger as time proceeds and older adults may be able to recall fewer memories than younger adults. In the case of infants various brain regions such as the hippocampus and the amygdale are just developing. This is especially true for infants aged in the first two years of their lives. Various systems such as those mentioned above are involved in memory storage but are yet not fully developed enough to retain memories (Richmond Nelson, 2007). Research has conclusively demonstrated that young children aged between three years and four years can remember events that occurred in this age bracket. However, the children’s ability to retain these memories tends to decrease significantly as they tend to get older (Clevelend Reese, 2008). Other research has shown that adults are able to recall events from the age of one year and before but these memories tend to blur out as the children grow older. The blurring out may be significant enough to erase out entire swathes of memory so that the adult is unable to recall any of these events at all (Tustin Hayne, 2010). The offset of childhood amnesia is typically defined as the age of the first memory and a typical value for it is three and a half years of age (Joseph, 2003). However, the age of first memory is not fixed to any value but rather it depends on various research factors such as memory retrieval methods where the first age of memory ranges between two years and five years of age (Multhaup Johnson, 2005). Similar variations in the first age of memory may occur when the ages of the respondents are varied (Tustin Hayne, 2010). Another unique method of defining the first age of memory is to use the distinction of personal memories versus public knowledge. In this method the respondent’s recollection is considered valid for the first age of memory when the respondent can recall minute personal events. This offset of first age of memory typically occurs approximately when the child is around four and a half years of age. It has been suggested that this may happen since the children’s development of knowledge about their own memory is much enhanced at this age rather than at previous ages (Jack Hayne, 2007). Certain differences tend to exist between the first memories when bifurcations such as gender or ethnicity are considered. In terms of gender, females tend to have first memories earlier than males. This difference has been attributed to the difference between the care doled out by mothers to daughters and sons. It has been