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Earliest memory

  1. Sep 10, 2004 #1
    The belief that an adult person cannot remember anything before the age of 3 is absurd. My earliest memory is of liking an outfit that I used to wear when I was a year old. My earliest concrete memory without pictures to accompany it occured before I turned 2. How old were you at the time of your earliest memory?
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  3. Sep 10, 2004 #2
    I am damn clear that I can remember events taking place after my second birthday. However, sometimes I can remember things that took place before my first birthday - just snippets, really. I moved to a new house when I was around 1, but I remember very vividly the dark, green curtain that used to hang in one of the rooms of my old house. There is no picture of that green curtain, but my parents have verified the existance of the curtain to be true. I also remember the taste of the milk (yech!) that was given to me when I was a baby. The milk was removed from my diet when I was around 1, so this memory should count as very early.
  4. Sep 10, 2004 #3


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    I'm pretty sure my earliest memory is from at least age 3...but I can't tell if any of those memory snippets are from earlier times (nothing available to cross-reference the memory to an age).

    this might make an interesting poll
  5. Sep 12, 2004 #4


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    I have some memories of when I was 2. I definitely remember learning that stoves are pretty damn hot! Plus I remember other things about the arpartment we lived in while my Dad was still in college. Those are more like snapshot memories, though. Right around 3 (we moved into the upper floor of a farmhouse right before I turned 3) is when I have enough memories to string into any kind of timeline or real environment.
  6. Sep 12, 2004 #5


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    The problem for me is that I can't put a date to some of my early memories, so it is hard to say how far back they go. The family moved out of house A and into house B for a few months when I was five, and then back to the same house A again. I have some very specific memories of things that could only have happened at house B, so I know my memories go back to age five. How much earlier than that, I cannot say reliably.
  7. Sep 12, 2004 #6
    I have a few memories from when I was a few weeks old, a few months old, et cetera. These have been confirmed by others. I've had my memory tested by professionals, and it's pretty damn good. One of the tests involves the shrink reading a jumbled mix of letters and numbers, and the subject ordering them in the head from low to high, first numbers, then letters, and reading them back. For example, "3n4k9dl7" would be read back as "3479dkln". I got to strings nine digits long before I had trouble.
  8. Sep 23, 2004 #7
    I once read about an experiment were a mother told her adult daughter about a time when the daughter (then a few years old) got lost in a shopping mall.
    She provided a few hints about the situation and the daughter was then asked to recall the event. Surprisingly she could recall quite a bit of specific details about the location and the people present and the reason this was surprising was because the event never took place.
    Now when I think back of my earliest memories I can find many that seem very real but looking into it further i find that all these memories I have from that period were supported by photographs or part from stories told about my childhood.
    I question thus, how many of these socalled memories are real and howmuch is involuntary makebelieve to fill the gaps in an incomplete picture..
  9. Sep 23, 2004 #8


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    My earliest memory is of getting into a car to leave a house with a screened porch that was up a slope with trees around it, and my parents were saying to me "Grandpa is waving to you, wave back!" But I couldn't see Grandpa, and was uneasy about what grandpa looked like anyway, and neither could I see anyone waving; did they mean on the screened porch? But it was in the shade and I couldn't see in. So I cried. This was the first memory I had from our trip across the country to our new home in southern California, and I have other memories of that trip. It was in May or June of 1936, and I was a couple of months before my third birthday. I have never discussed this memory with others, but it remains clear as day to me today. I could draw a picture of it.
  10. Sep 23, 2004 #9


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    Yeah, I saw the experiment too. Don't trust your own memories :)
  11. Sep 23, 2004 #10


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    My earliest memory places me at 18 months. I kept remembering the image of a kitchen window with horizontal glass slats and a handle that was cranked to open & close them. My mother confirmed that the house we moved out of when I was 18 months old had a kitchen window like that.

    Adam, that is wild.
  12. Sep 23, 2004 #11
    I can't remember when my earlyest memory is
    I have the feeling that when a parent tells me about something to prevoke it that I create the memory

    I also wouldn't be able to date a specific memory to anydate.
    I do rember some of my pre-preschool neighborhood.
  13. Sep 23, 2004 #12
    Would it be possible that the smarter you are the earlier you can remember memories? For instance, children who learn to talk, write and count at a very early age? Children who are essentially geniuses?

    I can remember memories from an early age, but only if they are triggered, so does this indicate that memories are stored but only accessed if certain experiences trigger these memories? For example if you learn to write at the age of two, then you would have memories associated with writing?
  14. Sep 23, 2004 #13
    Did the window have curtains? The funny thing is that I remember a curtain from when I was very young but not the window. :surprised Weird! :confused:
  15. Sep 24, 2004 #14


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    I have hazy memories of things that happened somewhere between 2 1/2 and 3ish, but no way to match them to an exact age. The more distinct memories start when I was starting pre-school (not quite 4).

    I have several friends with children under 3 now, and you really don't want to remember anything before 3...a lot of really painful teething and sleepless nights.
  16. Sep 24, 2004 #15
    My family moved when I was two, and I still clearly remember some of the layout of our first home. Living room carpet colour, where my bed was in my room, where the couch was, the fridge and it color, the gravel driveway, and the afro-like hairdo an uncle had at the time! I also vaguely remember visiting the new home.
  17. Sep 24, 2004 #16


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    It is hard to say if you remember or not. A lot of times it might be refreshed through photo albums or what not.

    You can't prove your own memory, since we can all make up ****, and because of the the statement made in the first post is neither false nor true.

    Personally I remember moving houses, and studies show that things this significant is always easy to remember.

    You can sleep with the hottest girl at 16, and you won't even forget it when you develop memory loss at the age of 112. ;)
  18. Sep 24, 2004 #17
    It's true that it's difficult to prove that and distinguish from photos, stories etc. But some specific "scenes" from the time I personnally know are not from photos, the clearest one is looking at my bed besides the room door from atop my dad's shoulder. This scene has definitely stayed in my mind independently of further input. Somehow, I remember "remembering" this scene many times throughout my childhood. It is not an event that would fit into a story, and I certainly didn't have a camera! I wouldn't know how to prove it further, I personnally know it's true but I wouldn't make a fuss over it.
  19. Sep 24, 2004 #18


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    I know what you mean. It is simply a lovely memory, and something you would cherish or I hope it's nice.

    I swear I remember deriving e=mc^2 when I was 18 months, and my mom said I was crazy. Later, she was tapping my back (who knows why) and then I puked all over my work! It was a disaster! Now, I have nothing to prove it. :(
  20. Sep 28, 2004 #19
    Well either that or I was terrified of being up there... ;)

    Here's consolation : had you not puked, the equation would still have been attributed to someone else. :p
  21. Sep 28, 2004 #20


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    I swear the calendar next to the window said 1797. :confused:
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