Why you may have invented your earliest childhood memories

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Image: Karin Sieger

Around four out of every 10 of us have fabricated our first memory, according to researchers. This is thought to be because our brains do not develop the ability to store autobiographical memories at least until we reach two years old.

Yet a surprising number of us have some flicker of memory from before that age. A study led by Martin Conway, director of the Centre for Memory and Law at City University of London, examined the first memories of 6,641 people. The scientists found that 2,487 of the memories shared, such as sitting in a pram, were from before the participants had reached the age of two.

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Conway and his team concluded that these memories were unlikely to be of real events because of the age they were captured at. If this is true, it suggests that many of us are carrying around memories from early chapters of our lives which never happened.

The reason may tap into something far deeper in the human condition – we crave a cohesive narrative of our own existence, and will even invent stories to give us a more complete picture.

Read full, original post: Can you trust your earliest childhood memories?

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