Memory & Cognition

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 567–576 | Cite as

Fragment memories mark the end of childhood amnesia

  • Darryl Bruce
  • L. Amber Wilcox-O’Hearn
  • John A. Robinson
  • Kimberly Phillips-Grant
  • Lori Francis
  • Marilyn C. Smith


Adults described and dated two kinds of first remembrances: a personal event memory (the recollection of a personal episode that had occurred at some time in some place) and a memory fragment (an isolated memory moment having no event context and remembered, perhaps, as an image, a behavior, or an emotion). First fragment memories were judged to have originated substantially earlier in life than first event memories—approximately 3 1/3 years of age for first fragment memories versus roughly 4 years of age for first event memories. We conclude that the end of childhood amnesia is marked not by our earliest episodic memories, but by the earliest remembered fragments of childhood experiences.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Darryl Bruce
    • 1
  • L. Amber Wilcox-O’Hearn
    • 1
  • John A. Robinson
    • 2
  • Kimberly Phillips-Grant
    • 1
  • Lori Francis
    • 1
  • Marilyn C. Smith
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySaint Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.University of LouisvilleLouisvilleKentucky
  3. 3.University of TorontoScarboroughCanada

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