Memory

My first memory comes from when I was 19 months old. My little brother had just been born, and my grandma was taking me and my older brother to the hospital to see him.

We were in a corridor and I was trying to reach up to see through the window into the baby nursery, but I was too little. My big brother tried to boost me up to see, but in the end grandma picked me up on her hip.

I have other memories following after this time - a favourite red dress, having a photograph taken with my cousin, playing in a willow tree.

Many of my memories are from before the age of 3, so I was very interested to read in Awakening Children's Minds that the large majority of people have no memory of themselves before this age. It is a phenomenon called 'infantile amnesia'.

Some researchers believe that in order to build an autobiographical memory, a children must have a well-formed sense of self - as a person who remains the same on the inside over time. Such a psychological self is not usually in place until the age of 3 or 4.

In addition, this kind of memory relies on the ability to organise personal information into a narrative form so that they become part of a life story.

I'll be interested to see what my children can remember as they grow older.

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