Memory needs speechMost people remember their first day of school. However, they no longer recall that which came before. We have almost no memory of our first years of life. But why is that? Why can't we remember the experiences we had as a baby? The reason lies in our development. Speech and memory develop at about the same time. And in order to remember something, a person needs speech. That is, he must have words for that which he experiences. Scientists have conducted various tests with children. In doing so, they made an interesting discovery. As soon as children learn to speak, they forget everything that came before. The beginning of speech is therefore also the beginning of memory.
Children learn a great deal in the first three years of their lives. They experience new things every day. They also have many important experiences at this age. Despite this, it all disappears. Psychologists refer to this phenomenon as infantile amnesia. Only the things that children can name remain. The autobiographical memory retains personal experiences. It functions like a journal. Everything that is important in our life is recorded in it. In this way, the autobiographical memory forms our identity. But its development is dependent upon the learning of the native language. And we can only activate our memory through our speech. The things that we learn as a baby are not really gone, of course. They are stored somewhere in our brain. We just can't access them anymore… – that's a shame, isn't it?