According to The Conversation, most childhood memories disappear at the age of seven. This is generally regarded as “childhood amnesia.”

Amnesia is a concept that most of us are familiar with. An individual’s memories can be destroyed due to injuries or a brain injury, only to be revived when activated by another person or occurrence. However, it seems that this is impossible to happen, especially when it comes to childhood memories.

Childhood or infantile amnesia, or the lack of memory from the first few years of childhood, is common. But you’re definitely in the majority if you don’t recall anything from your early years. Naturally, a slew of hypotheses has surfaced to understand it.

Why Am I Unable to Remember My Childhood?

According to The Conversation, most childhood memories disappear at the age of seven. This is generally regarded as “childhood amnesia.”

Children aged five to seven were able to remember 63 percent to 72 percent of the incidents, while children aged eight and nine were only able to recall about 35 percent of the events.

Patricia Bauer, a professor of psychology at Emory University, told NPR it is uncertain why childhood memories are so brittle. Bauer suggests it has to do with the brain’s mechanisms and pathways that archive experiences for potential recollection.

Repressed Memory Theory

Sigmund Freud attributed childhood trauma to repressed memories, according to Healthline. When several psychiatrists in “The Return of the Repressed: The Persistent and Problematic Claims of Long-Forgotten Trauma” proposed a connection between unexplained mental health problems and forgotten childhood trauma in the 1990s, this theory gained momentum.

By the unethical method of persuasion, some therapists tried to help clients recover so-called repressed memories. Many of the restored “memories” turned out to be fake later on.

Experts haven’t ruled out the likelihood that people miss stressful experiences and then remember them, but further research is required.

Memory And Trauma

Although it’s impossible that you’ll totally forget about a stressful experience, being traumatized may affect how the brain develops memories.

Some children dissociate, or psychologically disconnect, in response to trauma, which can affect how they remember what happened.

Others just fail to hear about the pain and shut it out of their heads, but this isn’t the same as forgetting it.

In any case, trauma scarcely disappears entirely from consciousness. Survivors seem to recall at least certain aspects of stressful events, even though they don’t completely grasp what happened.

The researchers further explained in “The Return of the Repressed: The Persistent and Problematic Claims of Long-Forgotten Trauma” that you’re even more inclined to recall incidents you’ve had more than once. If your parents frequently physically beat you or screaming at you, you will most likely recall any of those incidents.

Is it Possible to Remember My Childhood?

It can be difficult to have no childhood memories, particularly if you have the feeling they are hiding underneath the surface, just out of control.

Experts vary about whether or not you can recall your lost childhood memories. But some scholars suggest the memories haven’t faded from the memory.

Later in life, unique stimuli can aid in jogging your memory and unlocking any lingering traces. A study titled “Infantile amnesia: forgotten but not gone” focused on rats, who tend to suffer from a type of infantile amnesia as well.

Still, if you’d like to try digging up any childhood memories, these pointers from Healthline might be helpful.

Discuss Your Past

Discussing your previous encounters and other meaningful incidents will help keep them fresh in your memory. Talking with loved ones about the things you recall and telling them questions will help give such fleeting memories more substance.

Keep hold of the experiences by writing them down in as much depth as possible. Keep a log of your memories, for example, and add more information as they come to mind.

Many of your early experiences are likely to be focused in part on what people have already taught you. Any memories are woven together from old tales that have been repeated so many times that you have developed a mental memory of them.

See The Photographs

Childhood images can also assist in the retrieval of early memories.

Maybe you got a little toy train for your second birthday and dragged it around with you for over a year. Your parents are shocked you forgot and you wouldn’t let the train slip you by.

However, you can see the train clutched in your fist on the playground and pillowed under your head after a nap if you look at any images of yourself from that period. Although the recollection is hazy, you tend to remember putting it near your plate and demanding that it remain there at mealtimes.

When looking at old pictures, search for ones that show daily life. Daily visits to the candy store with your siblings may be easier to recall than your second birthday since memories of activities that happened every day are much better than memories of one-time incidents.

Visit The Places You’ve Been Before.

Returning to the spot where you spent your childhood might bring back some long-forgotten memories. You might begin to remember similar moments from your early years when you stroll down familiar streets and catch nostalgic smells – scent can be an especially strong catalyst.

When, on the other hand, a lot of things in your childhood neighborhood have changed, you might note these changes even if you don’t recall precisely how they used to look. You may feel a little disoriented or as though things aren’t in their proper position. The realization that “this isn’t supposed to look like this” can bring back memories of how things used to be.

Continue Learning

Lifelong learning can make the brain grow smarter, enhancing memory and other cognitive functions. Although memory preparation won’t guarantee that you’ll remember your childhood memories, it won’t hurt, and it can increase your odds of recalling the ones you do have.

Both behavioral activities and daily physical training can help improve not only memory but general brain function.

Originally published at The Science Times