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New clues on memory in the early years

13 September 2016

New research conducted by the University of New York and Mount Sinai Hospital has provided crucial clues about the formation of our earliest memories during infancy

Can we form memories when we are very young? Humans and non-humans alike show an “infantile amnesic period” – we have no memory of anything that happens during this time (usually up to age three or four in humans) which might suggest we can’t form very early memories.

But of course it might be that we can form memories in these early years, it’s just that they are later forgotten. 

A new paper discussed on our Research Digest blog finds that in rats some kind of memories are created during the amnesic period, but that these operate differently and are produced by different brain chemistry from adult memories.

What’s more, such events may have a role in kickstarting memory system maturation.

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