Skip to content

COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

Get the latest public health information from CDC:
Get the latest research information from NIH:

How “Quickly Forgotten” Early Life Experiences Mature the Brain

Critical period for learning how to remember events ID’d in rat experiments

Science Update

Laboratory rat

Source: Cristina Alberini, Ph.D., NYU

Ever wonder why we can’t remember much from our first few years of life? It turns out that those early experiences leave lasting memory traces in our brain, but its memory circuitry hasn’t yet learned how to properly process and store them, suggest experiments in rats by NIMH grantee Christina Alberini, Ph.D. at New York University (NYU).  The circuitry’s keen sensitivity to experience during this critical period enables such long-term memory ability to develop through practice.

For more information see NYU press release:
Study points to critical periods in early-life learning for brain development


Travaglia A, Bisaz R, Sweet ES, Blitzer RD, Alberini CM. Infantile amnesia reflects a developmental critical period for hippocampal learning. Nat Neurosci. 2016 Jul 18. doi: 10.1038/nn.4348. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:27428652