ID: science

Why does the brain discard memories from before the age of 3? What did you actually see in your childhood?

From a biological perspective, the brain doesn't actually delete memories from when you were 3 years old or younger. Instead, the brain's development process involves optimizing and refining its neural networks through environmental stimulation.

When we are born, our brain has an extraordinarily high number of neurons and complex connections, which are far beyond what we have in our adolescence or adulthood. The brain's development doesn't create new neurons or establish new connections. Instead, it creates a highly complex network, then fine-tunes it based on stimulation and experiences we encounter throughout our lives.

The optimization process involves removing unnecessary synapses and inactive neurons. This is necessary as the human brain is not very good at creating new connections once we reach maturity. The brain's wiring is primarily established during its development, and it's challenging to add new connections after that. This is why injuries to the brain or other organs rarely heal, and the injury is often replaced by scar tissue.

As for the seemingly forgotten memories of early childhood, it's likely that the brain hasn't adequately developed the necessary networks for long-term memory consolidation. The lack of strong neural connections in these areas means that the information isn't retained, much like how we can't retrieve memories from a poorly written or corrupted computer file.

It's important to note that our early childhood experiences do have a significant impact on our brain development and the formation of our personalities. Our experiences at this stage shape our neural networks, but our memories of these events may not be easily accessible.

@shion 3 months ago

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