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Old 04-25-2010, 07:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Is it possible for a person to remember when they were born?

For an adult or teenager to remember when they were born? If not, what about a 2 or 4 year old? I'm reading a reincarnation book and it includes just a few cases with children with memories of being born, some even claim to have memories of when they were inside the mother and these memories were verified to be accurate.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Someone on SAS (can't remember who) has claimed they remember being born.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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No, I don't believe it. A baby's brain would not be able to process it and so could never remember it. Probably would die from shock if they could experience it on a conscious level!
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Well babies do experience birth on a conscious level (except those of us who were cesareans), and babies do have memories. All early memories seem more like remembering remembering anyway, so it seems theoretically possible that a child could continually think about a memory and remember remembering it in order to preserve it until they're capable of keeping permanent memories. Of course it's not very likely, and I'd bet at least most of the people who think they remember it don't really. Studies have shown that even memories from when we're much older are often wildly inaccurate.

It's impossible to verify that nobody ever told the person the details of their birth story (allowing them to form a false memory of it), or that they didn't get lucky on a few guesses, so I don't think there's a way to know.

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Originally Posted by gilt View Post
It may be possible to get very far back using hypnosis
I'm more confident in saying that using hypnosis to recall memories is bunk (with the possible but not definite exception of some cases where something is being repressed for a reason). Studies indicate hypnosis simply implants false memories. Turns out to be especially dangerous when it implants false trauma.
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoth View Post
Well babies do experience birth on a conscious level (except those of us who were cesareans), and babies do have memories. All early memories seem more like remembering remembering anyway, so it seems theoretically possible that a child could continually think about a memory and remember remembering it in order to preserve it until they're capable of keeping permanent memories. Of course it's not very likely, and I'd bet at least most of the people who think they remember it don't really. Studies have shown that even memories from when we're much older are often wildly inaccurate.

It's impossible to verify that nobody ever told the person the details of their birth story (allowing them to form a false memory of it), or that they didn't get lucky on a few guesses, so I don't think there's a way to know.



I'm more confident in saying that using hypnosis to recall memories is bunk (outside of exceptional cases where something is being repressed for a reason). Studies indicate hypnosis simply implants false memories. Turns out to be especially dangerous when it implants false trauma.
How do you define consciousness?

A baby being born acts on instinct, just like any other animal. They are not aware of the birthing process, therefore not on a conscious level, ie: their head constricting as it passes through the birth canal or a forceps delivery etc.

A person claiming to remember being in the womb and their birth is just having a laugh at gullible people who would actually believe them

Next we''ll have people saying they remember being conceived.
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Consciousness is just a pattern of brain activity which is a matter of degree. Like babies, many higher animals have some degree of awareness, they're certainly not programmed robots (any argument that makes them into such could as easily make people into such).

Random search result: http://health.howstuffworks.com/unde...ewborn-ga1.htm
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As recently as 1964, one medical textbook claimed not only that the average newborn was unable to fix his eyes or respond to sound, but also, "consciousness, as we think of it, probably does not exist in the infant."
Now we know better. In the last 15 years, the number of studies of infant cognition have increased enormously. There are many disagreements about various findings, but researchers definitely agree the newborn comes into the world not as a passive receiver, but as a participant, ready and eager to interact with the environment.
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I'm not sure I would want to remember that, lol.
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoth View Post
Consciousness is just a pattern of brain activity which is a matter of degree. Like babies, many higher animals have some degree of awareness, they're certainly not programmed robots (any argument that makes them into such could as easily make people into such).

Random search result: http://health.howstuffworks.com/unde...ewborn-ga1.htm
I still dispute the claims that a person can remember their own birth. A baby's brain cannot compute what is happening while it is being born, and so cannot remember the event. It's just illogical and if you think about it, it is detrimental to the health and well being for the baby to be fully aware of its own birth. The human brain was not designed that way.

A new born baby have their senses, they can feel pain and comfort. Their instinct kicks in to survive, to suckle on the breast, to connect with mother or whomever is giving them nourishment. These are still animal instincts, no where is the baby telling itself to do these things.

The article is basically for new parents and the obvious reasons behind it - love and care for your newborn.
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I think its possible, to have a memory anyway where you may be in the womb etc, I guess you wouldn't know it would just be a dark void, but it must be in there somewhere.
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Old 04-25-2010, 10:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The brain isn't developed enough to form a long-term memory at that point. It's not until roughly 18 months that a baby can recognize themselves in a mirror and about 4 years until we have a reasonably developed theory of other minds.
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shyvr6 View Post
I'm not sure I would want to remember that, lol.
That's exactly what I thought! Most traumatic memory ever.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Our memories are notoriously unreliable and prone to suggestion. Eyewitness testimony isn't worth much in a courtroom, because people can so easily be led into thinking they remember something when they don't. I remember a survey a few years ago, where they went around and asked a few hundred people whether or not they'd seen the CCTV footage of the London bombings. 84% of British people said they had, and something like 50% of non-British people. No CCTV footage exists. And there was another experiment where they showed to a group of people a few minutes of highway footage, then asked them, "Do you think the convertible was driving too fast?" Three quarters of people said it was, a handful said it was going at a reasonable speed, but only about 10% pointed out that there wasn't a convertible in the footage.

There are a whole bunch of neurological and psychological conditions that lead to people "remembering" events that, while totally invented and untrue, seem like concrete, solid memories to that person. It's actually a pretty terrifying concept.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korsakoff's_syndrome
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confabulation

People who claim they remember their own birth are almost certainly recalling a movie they saw, or some other hospital visit, and getting it confused with reality.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:21 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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I remember reading about an idea theorizing that near death experiences are actually memories of birth. According to it, the "tunnel" people often report traveling through represents the birth canal, and the "being of light" either the obstetrician or the mother. It's most likely BS, but interesting to think about nonetheless.
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Old 04-26-2010, 05:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Anything is possible, though I'd tend to doubt it. All I know for sure is I don't really have any memories at all prior to age 4 or so -- or such memories are hidden in my subconscious such that I'm not even aware they exist.

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Originally Posted by ShinAkuma View Post
...some even claim to have memories of when they were inside the mother and these memories were verified to be accurate.
How would such in-the-womb claims be verified?
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Old 04-26-2010, 05:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by LaRibbon View Post
No.. Brains are not developed enough to form long term memories until about 3 or 4 years old. If someone says they can recall something that happened before 3 it is most likely they are consructing a false memory from something they have been told. Even seeing photos of yourself at a young age can be enough to construct a memory you don't have of something that never actually happened.
I have definite memories prior to age 3. For example, I recall visiting my brothers in hospital when they were born. I remember the path through the field in my pushchair, the stair railings, my brothers in an incubator, and spending time alone with my father. I remember before age 2 my father placing me on a canal wall on holiday and feeling very insecure about it. I also remember being washed in the kitchen sink daily. There are certain reports that this is more common in people with ASD.
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Old 04-26-2010, 06:49 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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An ex-coworker of mine said she she could recall her birth. She verified this memory by recalling what her sister was eating when she visited just after the birth. She could also tell exactly how many people were in the room.

I believe we have the ability to remember ANYTHING that has happened in our life. It's just a matter of recalling that memory. The mind is so mysterious!
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:00 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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The part of the brain that stores long term memories is usually not developped in children which is why few people remember being very young and even fewer if any truly remember their birth. It is entirely possible for some people to remember being quite young if their brains developped quickly. I can definitely remember things before I was 3years old. I can remember my sister's birth when I was 3 1/2. I remember getting a needle stuck in my foot while crawling on the floor around my dad which was before I was 3. I remember breaking a glass object all over myself even though I didn't get injured and I was probably 4. I can remember when my mom found a pet rabbit on the side of the road at around the same age. My sister was in a baby car seat in the back so not yet old enough to sit up in one. I remember kindergarten a lot. 2nd-3rd grade even more.

So yes it is possible just very very unlikely because in most cases the brain does not develop that part soon enough.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:18 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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No. Even if you had long-term memory, there's is no way you could make sense of it. The brain would be exposed to light, colors, movement, shapes and objects, all for the first time. None of it would mean anything to the brain. Putting together all these shapes and objects into something meaningful on your first day would be impossible.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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I suspect that young children can't remember things until they've acquired some form of language. I'm not sure if you can remember things until you have a concept of the past and of time amongst other abstract concepts. Memory probably depends on 'consciousness' as much as physical processes in the brain.
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:51 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraShy View Post
A

How would such in-the-womb claims be verified?
"In one study, reasearchers asked pregnant women to read a passage from a children's story aloud every day for the last six weeks of their pregnancy. Two days after the babies were born, testing was done in which a recording of that passage was played to reward one pattern of sucking while a recording of a different passage was played to reward another pattern of sucking. The results demonstrated that the babies preferred hearing the original passage compared to the new one. When babies whose mothers had not read the passage were tested, they showed no preference. The study indicated that the babies could retain memories that were created before they were born for at least two days after birth. "

The book talks about events that occur between the time the previous personality died and the baby was born, whether it took place in another realm or while in the womb. This case is about a woman recalling memories of her mother attempting abortion with buttonhook but the mother could not go through with the act. The subject was still in the womb when this occurred and the mother confirmed that it was true and had never discussed it with the daughter.
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