Birth of new brain cells might erase babies’ memories

New neurons may explain why adults can’t remember being infants

By Meghan Rosen, 15:27 PM May 8, 2014

Unlike the proverbial elephants, babies always forget.

Infants’ memories may be wiped clean by the genesis of new brain cells, a study in rodents suggests. The findings offer an explanation for why people can’t recall memories from early childhood, a century-old mystery.

The study’s authors “make a very interesting and compelling case,” says neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Md. “It’s just truly fascinating,” he says. ...

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