Childhood Amnesia

Childhood amnesia is being unable to remember episodic memories from certain years ago or from certain ages of one’s life. It does not mean that one’s childhood is a big black hole and impossible to access, it just means that one cannot recall what has happened years ago the way one can remember what they were doing just one week ago. Not having episodic memories means that even though one may have memories of an image or a smell or some kind of sound they might not be connected or that they don’t make proper sense.  I think that they could be compared to dreams, because in dreams the beginning and the end are usually uncertain, most events don’t make sense and it becomes harder to hold on to a dream as time passes, just the way it’s harder to hold on to memories as time goes by.

Childhood amnesia also occurs due to the fact that approx. until the age of four years the part of the brain which is responsible for long term memories is still developing. So while an adult might be able to have clearer memories of when he was in school, memories from the ages below four are almost impossible to recall.

I also have a hard time remembering my childhood. I am currently seventeen years old and even though it should be a little easier for me to remember the time I was under four years old than it should be for adults, our memories are pretty similar. For example what I remember from a trip to England, when I was just about four, is a field with sheep and my dad sitting on a bench. The image I remember is actually very detailed, but why I was there or where I actually was I wouldn’t know if I wasn’t told. I also don’t remember what I was doing or how it felt to be there, all I can recall is a really detailed static image. It’s kind of like a photograph that has been burned into my memory.

A smell from my childhood I can also remember clearly is the smell of my grandmother’s house. I haven’t been to the house since my grandmother passed away and even though I’m usually better with remembering images than smells I can clearly recall that one smell. I don’t know why, but I believe that it could be because my grandmother’s home was one of the places I liked to be at most as a child and the smell reminds me of one of my favorite people and one of my favorite places.


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