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You can't put your arm around a memory

What is your strongest memory? Is it a first—like your first day of school, first concert, or first-time skiing? If so, then why do we remember so little of our first years on this planet? The causes of ‘infantile amnesia’ have long puzzled scientists: Sigmund Freud, predictably, blamed this on repression of early sexual experiences. Scientists from Toronto studying the rate of neurogenesis in rat hippocampal neurones looked at the rate of neurone formation. The quicker their growth the poorer was the rat's long-term memory formation. They speculate that rapid neuronal growth during infancy disrupts the brain circuitry, making old memories inaccessible. Could this also be the mechanism behind accelerated forgetting in epilepsy?

Science 2014;344:598–602.

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