What is your earliest memory?
By the time children are two years old, they are able to answer questions about recent events ialthough they often need careful prompting to retrieve memories. Over the next four or five years, children become better at recalling and describing important events in their lives. By the age of seven or eight, most children have well-developed autobiographical memories with the same rate of normal forgetting seen in adults.
When questioned about earlier memories however, children are rarely able to recall memories of events that happened earlier than age three or four and these early memories become even harder to access as they grow older. Despite decades of research, understanding why this childhood amnesia happens remains a mystery.
To read more, check out my new Psychology Today post.