On my way to work, happened to look out the window and saw a day care centre, in front was this little girl running towards this little boy and gave each other a big hug, Warms my heart just thinking about it. Appears that the girl arrived before the boy and the boy came in with his mum was spotted by the girl and that happened. I have nothing more to say about it than it was cute. It got me thinking about human life and development in general and at what point everything changes and these little rays of pure sunshine become “adults” in every sense of the word. Then my mind drifted towards the biblical story of Adam and Eve and their exile from the garden of Eden. Thinking A & E to be kids at their creation, they ate the fruit which may or may not be a euphemism for gaining self-awareness and losing the innocence they were created with. Bummer really. It brings me into the question “at what point in development did we all eat our fruit?” . On the neuroscience side of things, we can vehemently say at the point we become aware of ourselves as a part of the world around us, that time we begin to recognise our own image in the mirror, we begin to realise we are a person, with a body can do things. There is a video on a study in regards to this.
The sense of self apparently is a big deal in regards to development, as it becomes a think after 18 months. This correlates with infantile amnesia where you lose almost 60% of memories before age 4 and lose the rest by age 7. Scientists claim it is as a result of neural development and plasticity. First, you gain a sense of self, you become forgetful and then are able to remember most of the events in life. Remembering leads to shame, embarrassment, discouragement. It also has it’s plus side, where you gain experience, become an expert in a field or more, learn from mistakes, maintain relationships and live a fuller life (If that’s your kind of thing). Now that I think about it, forgetting (repressing) traumatic events in adulthood is a form of infantile amnesia except now it’s nothing more than a defence mechanism, which if you ask me, is a very vital tool to be on this planet.
I digress, My initial question was when do we lose that innocence and will neuroscience explain this? It’s worth looking into, not because we need to tame people but because a better understanding will satisfy my curiosity.