The Fate of Early Memories: Developmental Science and the Retention of Childhood Experiences

Pages: 219
Item #: 4318900
ISBN: 978-1-55798-628-3
List Price: $34.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $29.95
Copyright: 2000
Format: Hardcover
Note: This book is out of print and no longer available for purchase.

Does infantile amnesia exist? Can children accurately recall traumatic events? Do memory's organizing, storage, and retrieval mechanisms change during childhood development?

Through a thorough examination of recent scientific evidence, The Fate of Early Memories divorces fact from fiction regarding the nature, durability, and fallibility of memory. Beginning with a tour of the strengths and frailties of infant memory and the landmark achievements that lead to more mature functioning in early childhood, the book traces the emergence of autobiographical memory, the onset of a "cognitive self," and the impact of both routine and unusual events on the durability of specific memories.

The author considers the neurobiology of stress, the complex role of stress in storing and retrieving memories of traumatic and non-traumatic experiences, and the individual differences that moderate the impact of stress on memory. What emerges is a dynamic, self-organizing, and unitary memory system, governed by a common set of laws across infancy, childhood, and adulthood, that is best suited to retain the gist of our experiences. Encompassing both historical breadth and cutting-edge research, this book is required reading for researchers and professionals interested in childhood memory, from psychologists to attorneys to educators.

Table of Contents



  1. Overview of Developments in Systems Related to Early Memory
  2. Memory Development From Birth to 2 Years of Age
  3. Memory Development During the Preschool Years
  4. Long-Term Retention of Emotional, Traumatic, and Other Distinctive Events
  5. Development of Autobiographical Memory
  6. Consciousness, Memory, and Development
  7. Problems in the Measurement of Long-Term Retention and Its Development
  8. Conclusions, Speculations, and Unfinished Business

Appendix A: Trace-Integrity Framework

Appendix B: Scaling and Measurement Issues


Author Index

Subject Index

About the Author