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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Birth Of Memory: Why Kids Forget What Happened Before Age 7

•, By Kate Gammon
 The resulting pain and eventual extraction were a harrowing experience for her parents, but fortunately the little girl emerged with a cheery attitude: “Now I can slurp noodles through the gap,” she told me over the holidays.

Fortunately, she probably won’t remember any of this when she’s an adult. By the time she’s in second grade, the entire experience will be a dim memory captured in pictures.

And that’s because of a strange phenomenon known as childhood amnesia. Kids can remember events before the age of 3 when they’re small, but by the time they’re a bit older, those early autobiographical memories are lost. New research has put the starting point for amnesia at age 7.

Scientists have long wondered about the cause of this baffling memory-loss, and thought that language development might have something to do with it. But even rats and another animals show a similar amnesia without language abilities.

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