Back in my early twenties, when I was doing 12 Step Triage, I was in a group with a guy who claimed to remember being sexually abused throughout his adoptive pre-toddler infancy. Regardless of the nature of his memories, this was the first person I'd ever heard claim they had any memories at all from such an age.

Due to the nature and rules of the particular style of group, I not only managed to swallow my normally automatic call of "bullshit" regarding such claims, but I even allowed myself to consider, for a time, that he might actually be remembering such events, and not, as I've learned is far more likely and does so commonly occur, formulating painfully detailed fantasies to explain the misfortunes through which I have no doubt he actually did exist and suffer so early in his life.

I've always been curious and open to talking with anyone about anything, but I never did take anytime to ask him about those memories, even though we did hang out a little and talk 'bout other group-related and personal stuff. I just didn't want to end up calling this guy a Liar, even if in not so many words, when I sure as hekk didn't have any better knowledge 'bout his story nor about how to prove or what to do with such recollections.

I can't really tell if this synopsical recommends or refutes my old bud's beliefs about his infancy. Hell, it's been so long since I've talked with him, I've no way of knowing whether he still thinks that way or not!

Either way, the report that babies can remember, but simply forget a lot more of their experiences at that stage in their development, neither surprises nor perplexes me in the least.

Infants form memories, but forget them

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer


Researchers have long speculated that babies' brains were simply unable to form memories, but Bauer said new research indicates that is incorrect.

While rates of memory development vary among infants, all babies are extremely intelligent, added Lisa M. Oakes of the University of California, Davis. "The task they have before them is overwhelming."

Infants are very good at extracting information from their environment, said Oakes.

The ability to form memories depends on a network of structures in the brain and these develop at different times, Bauer said. As the networks come together between 6 months and 18 months of life, researchers see increased efficiency in the ability to form short- and long-term memory, she said.

From age six months to two years, memory increases from about 24 hours to a year, she said.

But, noting that children, like adults, forget, she compared the brains of infants and adults to colanders used to drain food. The adult colander has small holes, for draining something like orzo or rice, while the infant colander has larger holes, such as for draining large penne pasta, but allowing more information to flow out.

Adults' earliest memory of childhood tends to be of emotional events, either positive or negative, she added.

"Our lives completely depend on being able to remember the past," Bauer said, and that matures during the first two years of life.

Bauer said infants were tested by using objects such as cups and blocks. In one test a baby would be shown two cups, a block would be put into one, the other cup would be put over the top and the group would be shaken to form a rattle.

This is something children don't do instinctively, she explained, but once they see it they can copy it, and researchers can see how long they remember when given the same objects.

Oakes said she studied infants by watching how long they would look at something. Babies will look longer at something new than something they are familiar with, she said, which allows researchers to calculate how long the baby remembers something.

[Take a little longer look. . .]

And now to make some new memories by sharing some old memes.

Stardust has tagged me with a Five Favorite Quotes Meme.

Ahhh. . . There really are just so many worthy quotes which remind me of things important to me, things which, did I practice them more intensively (if not quite more religiously, eh,) I think would help me shut off the doubts and second-guessing with which I am constantly confounded.

"Argue your limitations and, sure enough, they are yours."
Richard Bach in Illusions

This has always been one of the tougher concepts for me. My limitations are what they are, regardless of whether or not I "argue" for them. The trick here, which I so often forget in frustration, is to accept where I'm at, even while practicing whatever it is I need to do to get over it.

Everyone is entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan

This quote appears in various forms throughout the worldwide network of tubes, but this variation is how I heard it once relayed by a former U.S. representative whose name I don't recall, but who is leading the fight to overturn my state of Ohio's archaic, irresponsible and constitutionally insufficient system of Educational funding. According to that gentleman's talk on the local NPR station, Moynihan delivered the line to an assembly of newly elected Congress critters.

If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?!
Pink Floyd - The Wall

Hhm... I don't know. Double entendres not with-standing, I think it's a good rule of thumb, but not the kind o' thing one ought to let control their life, don't ya know. {-;

This is perhaps my favorite quote of all. It's not just the phenomenally dubious existence of a God which requires me to

"Shake off all the fears and servile prejudices under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." --Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1787. ME 6:258 Papers 12:15

The message there is HUGE for me because, although I'm quite consistently good at detaching from my emotional state when academically discussing impersonal politics, business or scientific discoveries, with way too much frequency have the reasons for my personal decision making been so emotionally charged that Reason itself could simply not be brought to bear. It's been tough for me to learn how to back off from people or situations which produce either enormous hope or tremendous fear depending upon how they relate to my personal desires.

That is the reason I post those Daily Zen quotes so often. The topics I cover on Silly Humans are certainly wide-ranging and often of relevance to any animal walking on two legs and calling itself Human. Sometimes though, and regardless of whether or not anyone else "gets it", I'm only posting exactly what it is that I think I need to get me through another day in Paradise.

♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫

I remember frequently playing this song (sans video) on a loop for hours at a time, but as Groucho said,
"I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it."
So you go ahead. Giver her a listen. I've heard enough of it for now.

Here's to letting go of the obsession, so that the disappointments may fade away naturally, leaving room for happiness today.



  1. Adorable GirlfriendFebruary 17, 2007 11:30 AM

    Research has shown for a long time that babies have memories. Even before they are born. Dr. Carol Rovee-Collier at Rutgers does a lot of these studies. The problem may be more that since language hasn't developed yet, they cannot talk about these memories which makes it harder to continue to remember them.

    Who knows if it was true with your buddy. I guess I sometimes wonder what is the harm in believing it to be true. Perhaps there was harm. Who knows. Hopefully he got some help and has work through some of his concerns.

  2. I guess I sometimes wonder what is the harm in believing it to be true.

    That's precisely what I thought of it at the time, AG.

    Unless a readily apparent "harm" is being perpetuated from one's belief, I really still do.

    Whatever answers he had (or has since) found, I certainly didn't have anything helpful for him, except acceptance of whatever he'd to say about it, so I certainly didn't profess to "know better".

    I gots my own problems, don't ya know, and the folks whom I consider my truly good friends are those who accept me even when they don't necessarily understand me. The neatest thing about that has been that I've gained understanding of myself as a result of their acceptance. {-;

    Honestly, that fact is why my first tattoo was a symbol for Karma.

  3. We have some experience with this in my own family, and it is no small thing to become viciously confused by someone else's memories. But you gave your friend your support and "met him where he was" and that's the most important thing. Being present is a great gift.


    Jefferson really said that, eh? I find him a fascinating, complicated personality.

    And what happened from that time, when there really were some fairly potent minds developing our nation, to now, when the leader of our country and indeed the free world is a total, bumbling dumbass?



  4. Oh, so many topics of interest. I go with the same idea on acceptance of what people say about their own personal turmoil unless they harm others with it.

    Have you seen or heard about the Jefferson Bible? Fascinating.

    Peace to you Michael Bains.

  5. I think our dear Shrub is exactly the common variety of demagogue with whom those founders had personal experience whist hashing out the Constitution.

    The sad fact is that our Congress is terrorfied of showing weakness in the face of even these dangers which we create ourselves, so now e pluribus unum becomes "what can we do?"



    Mary; I've read about it, and how he left out all instances involving anything supernatural being used to explain material facts. That's definitely a book for my dream-shelf.

    namaste Peacechick.



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