ELI5: Why do humans not remember being babies?
infants do form memories. But they forget quickly:
So human (babies) remember being babies. But human (adults) dont remember beeing babies.
Baby brains grow fast. From birth to the age of 2 they triple in size. During this change in size, neurons grow, they test connections and prune themselves. The part of the brain "responsible" for storing memories of events keeps making new neurons fast, even far into adulthood (but much slower). by forming new connections with memory circuits, the masses of new neurons may disrupt existing networks of already-formed memories. So babies learn fast, and they forget fast.
Human brains start pretty undeveloped.
Studies show that babies can't retain memories for more than some time unless there was something very special. It's at 3 years of age aproximately that human brains start retaining very long term memories.
I, for instance have two memories of the time I was in the crib with pacifier but that's it. The next I remember is when I was 4 and the next I was 5 already.
Yeah I’ve got one memory of being in my crib and pushing the music box that was playing the lullaby through the bars. Don’t remember any pacifiers except for bottles, don’t remember the traumatic shit either apparently they had to put plastic eyeball replacements in my socket so that my face wouldn’t malform
I'm a young adult who doesn't really remember a lot tbh. If you showed me a photo it would take me back but 0-10 years old is just a handful of memories that are more like feelings which is crazy.
Teenage and college years are much easier to process.
Because the hippocampus, the part of your brain responsible for episodic memory, takes time to fully develop. Babies can still learn things, though, because long-term memory is already up and running. That's mainly for stuff like skills, like knowing how to walk, how to ride a bike, how to feed yourself, etc., where once you learn it, it sticks with you, even if you can't remember the experience of learning those things.