October 31, 2002
Development Of Memory In Human Babies

When humans are born their brains are not capable of forming recallable memories. The sequence of the development of mental capabilities is being studied more closely:

Six-month-olds have a memory span of no more than about 24 hours, which gradually expands to up to a month by 9 months. In the new study, 13-month-old babies could not remember events they had witnessed and mimicked four months earlier -- a task that came easily to their elders, ages 21 months and 28 months.

The findings support the view that at 9 months, two key areas of the brain involved in learning and memory are not yet fully mature. These are the hippocampus, a region where memories are first processed before being transferred to the cerebral cortex for permanent storage, and the frontal cortex. This large anterior area of the brain is involved in reasoning, planning, abstract thought and other complex cognitive processes in addition to motor functions, such as speech, handwriting, drawing, walking, reaching and grasping.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2002 October 31 09:49 PM  Brain Memory

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