So what was your first memory, your first self-awareness

Emergence of consciousness

Studies of mental functions, behaviors and the nervous system.

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Re: So what was your first memory, your first self-awareness

#21  Postby NamelessFaceless » Nov 06, 2014 9:15 pm

Oh, I see. Good to know! :thumbup:
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Re: So what was your first memory, your first self-awareness

#22  Postby Weaver » Nov 06, 2014 9:15 pm

NamelessFaceless wrote:My earliest memory is of a spanking I got when I was about 3 years old. I didn't understand it and didn't think I deserved it.

This is exactly the reason why, when I was an NCO in the Army, I rarely resorted to physical punishments such as having a Soldier do push-ups while I chewed them out. I knew from personal experience that after about the first 10 push-ups I wasn't thinking at all about whatever I supposedly did wrong, but instead thinking a giant, internally loud "FUCK YOU!!!" to the person punishing me. I got much better results from my Soldiers by talking to them - occasionally yelling, but trying to make them understand the failure and how to fix it, or not repeat it, and why.

Same reason I don't spank my kids.
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Re: So what was your first memory, your first self-awareness

#23  Postby NamelessFaceless » Nov 06, 2014 9:16 pm

Yeah, same here. :cheers:
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Re: So what was your first memory, your first self-awareness

#24  Postby BlackBart » Nov 06, 2014 9:22 pm

My earliest memory was being a maid in the household of Marie Antoinette done wrong by a nobleman...

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Re: So what was your first memory, your first self-awareness

#25  Postby Keep It Real » Nov 06, 2014 9:24 pm

:lol:

I think I remember my mother's nipple :shifty:
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Re: So what was your first memory, your first self-awareness

#26  Postby catbasket » Nov 06, 2014 11:56 pm

kennyc wrote:That whole process of fabricated memories is a fascinating part of all this as well. I'm sure any number of my early memories are fabricated or partially fabricated.

This is the problem I have with early memories: do I 'remember' that incident or do I remember being told about that incident? Or because I've seen a photo of that incident/time?

So the only truthful answer I could give to the question in the OP is - I really can't be sure.

The first words I said were "Let there be light". It's all gone downhill since then.
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Re: So what was your first memory, your first self-awareness

#27  Postby Fallible » Nov 07, 2014 12:21 am

The current thinking is actually that we're unlikely to remember things as far back as 2 or earlier (brain hasn't wired itself up enough or some shit), and indeed the older we get the less we remember after that age - even by the time we are older kids a lot of early stuff has gone. Much of what we think is remembered directly is actually a melange of family re-tellings and reconstructions worked out at a later date to form a coherent narrative. For example, and not to pick on Darth at all, his is just the memory I remember from reading through the thread, his gran may of course have seen him crying aged two after his dog was run over, but this doesn't actually mean that Darth remembers that specific incident itself. I hope I'm not assuming too much, but I suspect an incident like that was talked about rather a lot in the house over the years.
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Re: So what was your first memory, your first self-awareness

#28  Postby orpheus » Nov 07, 2014 12:54 am

I remember a moocow coming down along the road and...

:scratch: no, wait, that was someone else.

Never mind.
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Re: So what was your first memory, your first self-awareness

#29  Postby Pulvinar » Nov 07, 2014 1:04 am

kennyc wrote:...Now to answer the question myself, the earliest memories I have seem to be from a few years old, maybe one or two...playing in the yard outside the house where I grew up. Prior to that is nothing.

What about you?


Because of the forgetting, overwriting, and unreliability of those early memories, we really can't use them to gauge consciousness. I think a clearer (and objective) indicator of consciousness is the demonstration of learning. The counter to that would be to demonstrate learning something without ever being conscious of it. If that happens, it's certainly not typical brain operation.
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Re: So what was your first memory, your first self-awareness

#30  Postby Animavore » Nov 07, 2014 1:09 am

I remember clammy, warm darkness and a light to which was heading toward. I remember pushing, struggling, my face stretched against the aperture, my ears pulled back and head squeezed. And in the background my mother, screaming -






- "Thomas! Get that jumper off you! I just washed it. It's all wet"
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Re: So what was your first memory, your first self-awareness

#31  Postby epepke » Nov 07, 2014 1:20 am

It's very hard to date things from long ago.

I was born in May, 1961. I remember my first visit to the 1964 World's Fair. That must have been the first run, which was April 22 – October 18, 1964. That was a vivid memory, and it affected the rest of my life. It was at the Singer Sewing Machine exhibit, which had a little film presentation. I remember going through the queue through a room with a counter that was an S-curve to the left. That night, I had a dream in which a panel opened on the wall at the head of my bed and showed the film. That affected me greatly, as I decided that I really wanted to do something like that. This turned out to be the case, as my first career was doing computer animation.

There was one event earlier than that. We had just moved into a new apartment, which meant that I must have been about 2.5. My father was using a belt sander to sand the floors. My parents left the room with it still plugged in. I decided that it would be fun to make it go. It was more exciting than fun, as of course I couldn't have hoped to keep it from flying across the room. I was uninjured.

A dream also that was probably around the time of the World's Fair but might have been later, though not by much. My father had a habit of putting out matches on his tongue, which I didn't like. In the dream, I was sitting with my mother and father in a restaurant. For some reason, there were unfilled aquariums as part of the decor. He was going to do the tongue thing, and I begged him to stop, but he did it anyway. He exploded, and a lot of bones went around the room, falling into the aquariums. He looked at me, said "Oh well," and started putting the bones back on his body. The skeleton, however, was unrealistic, and I knew it at the time, because I had a poster on the back of my door with a real skeleton and lots of the parts marked.

I also remember pretending to be a seagull when I still had a crib, which must have been pretty early, as they got me a bed pretty soon.

I don't remember my circumcision, which Ray Bradbury claims to have remembered (his, not mine). I don't remember "It's a Small World" at the fair, which I was said to have loved.
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Re: So what was your first memory, your first self-awareness

#32  Postby Thommo » Nov 07, 2014 4:38 am

I remember the taste of playdough and lego bricks.
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Re: So what was your first memory, your first self-awareness

#33  Postby Spearthrower » Nov 07, 2014 6:42 am

My first memory - and I know it's mine rather than something told to me later which became part of my memory - was the night my mum fell ill. I was 2 and a half years old.

I don't recall the stuff that had preceded it, but apparently my dad came home to find my mum passed out on the floor, and she was slurring and unable to coordinate her movements. She was taken to hospital where she ultimately ended up spending the better part of a year after falling into a coma.

The reason I can be sure it's my memory is because we were then living in an apartment of a block of flats, but I have no other memory of the layout of that apartment except for this.

I think I was worried and not sure what was going on but had some inkling of it being a big problem - basically, I was scared and wanted some kind of consoling. My bedroom was opposite the bathroom, with my parents bedroom to the left. My dad was in bed watching TV, and I walked back and forth between my bedroom and the bathroom until my dad noticed me and called me in to sit in bed with him.

That's pretty much the sum of my memory, aside from strange details like the fact that the TV was elevated - I can't quite see how in my memory, but it was high enough above the level of the bed to be able to watch it while lying down.
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Re: So what was your first memory, your first self-awareness

#34  Postby Ironclad » Nov 07, 2014 7:50 am

NamelessFaceless wrote:My earliest memory is of a spanking I got when I was about 3 years old. I didn't understand it and didn't think I deserved it.


My door is always open, if you need to talk it through :smile:
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Re: So what was your first memory, your first self-awareness

#35  Postby Made of Stars » Nov 07, 2014 8:47 am

Ironclad wrote:
NamelessFaceless wrote:My earliest memory is of a spanking I got when I was about 3 years old. I didn't understand it and didn't think I deserved it.


My door is always open, if you need to talk it through :smile:

Careful, NF. I reckon Ironclad will be wanting to see a re-enactment as part of the 'therapeutic relationship'. :smug:
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Re: So what was your first memory, your first self-awareness

#36  Postby Ironclad » Nov 07, 2014 8:58 am

i have no idea what you are talking about



:shifty:
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Re: So what was your first memory, your first self-awareness

#37  Postby Fenrir » Nov 07, 2014 9:08 am

I remember the cat giving birth in my bed, circa 3-5 years old.

Pretty hard to invent that one.

Apart from that, a few dissociated snippets, some of which may be amalgams of later memories or made up.
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