A common guess is: What did we see when we were children? Could it be that he saw something he shouldn’t have seen so that this memory was directly deleted when he grew up?
Scientific Perspectives Of course, the scientific community will not agree with speculations like this that can neither be confirmed nor falsified. In fact, scientists have done a lot of research on the phenomenon that “human beings have no memory before the age of 3”. Research and give some reasonable speculations. Generally speaking, there are three highly recognized views in the scientific community. Let’s take a brief look at them below.
View 1: Lack of Memory Retrieval Clues The first view is that humans do not have memories before the age of 3 because humans in infants and young children lack clues to retrieve memories. What does this mean? For example, if I ask you now, what did you eat for lunch last Friday? Then, your brain will not give the answer immediately but will “search” for some clues in the memory.
Limited Cognitive Abilities in Infants Infants and young children have very limited cognitive abilities and cannot understand abstract concepts. Their understanding of the world stays at the visual level. They do not know “Last Friday,” “lunch,” “work,” “time,” “task,” “noodle shop”… what exactly are these concepts? Their brains cannot extract the relevant concepts without these concepts as clues. Memories over time, these memories are regarded as “useless information” by the brain and deleted.
View 2: Transition from “Baby Language” Babies can’t speak, but they communicate what they see using different combinations of sounds. This is known as “baby language”. Humans can use this language to create cues that help them remember things.
Replacement by Mother Tongue However, this “baby language” is only temporary because as babies grow up, they will gradually master their own mother tongue. Compared with “baby language,” the mother tongue is much “easier to use.” Babies naturally use their native language as their brains develop. When they are around 3, their mother tongue completely replaces the early “baby language.” The signs of this language are no longer recognizable, which is why humans don’t have memories from before the age of 3.
View 3: Brain Optimization and Memory “Cutting” Okay, now let’s look at the third view. This view holds that humans do not have memories before the age of 3 because the brain “cuts out” these memories.
Neuron Optimization Process Most neurons in the human brain are found in infants and young children. According to estimates by scientists, the number of neurons in infants and young children around 1 year old will reach approximately 100 billion. After that, the number of neurons will continue to decline. When we grow up, the number of neurons usually drops to about 86 billion.
Memory Storage and Synaptic Connections Research shows that the basic mechanism for humans to store memories comes from synaptic connections between neurons. Therefore, the brain will “cut out” some memories during the optimization process. Which memories are most likely to be “cut out”? The answer lies in memories from infancy and early childhood.
Lack of Abstract Cognitive Abilities As mentioned in the preface, infants and young children have extremely limited abstract cognitive abilities of the world. Their cognition of the world remains at the visual level. Therefore, the memories of human infants and young children are usually messy, fuzzy, and discontinuous. There is a lack of “image-level memory” of abstract descriptions, so in the subsequent brain optimization process, these memories can easily be judged by the brain as “unnecessary information” and then deleted.
Natural Evolution of the Brain From a scientific perspective, humans not having any memory before the age of 3 is not due to witnessing inappropriate things as children but rather the outcome of our brain’s natural evolution.
Procedural Memory It is worth mentioning that humans actually have a variety of memories, one of which is called “procedural memory” (also known as “implicit memory”). Simply put, this memory can be subconsciously learned without recalling it. Our ability to perform tasks like walking and running is called “procedural memories.” These memories are formed before the age of 3 and do not completely disappear before that age. Memory.