News: News Archives
The Nature of Memory--and Forgetting--in Infants
Babies obviously learn and remember at least some of what they learn, but some researchers and many parents have long recognized a conundrum: As children grow older, why do they usually forget specific events from their first few years-attending a carnival, laughing at grandpa's funny hat, or falling off a chair?
Researcher Patricia J. Bauer of Duke University offered some insight Friday in a news briefing at the AAAS Annual Meeting. "Researchers have long speculated that babies' brains were simply unable to form memories, but Bauer said new research indicates that is incorrect," wrote Associated Press reporter Randolph E. Schmid in a story picked up on the web site of the Press-Enterprise newspaper in Southern California.
As their brains develop, babies have more memory-power, Bauer said. Memory might extend 24 hours at the age of six months, but by the time the child is two, that span extends to about a year. A small point of consolation for adults: Babies forget even more than they do.
16 February 2007