Autobiographical memory retrieval curve at different ages: focusing into childhood amnesia and the reminiscence bump

Shamsul Haque, Nafisa Islam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Participants from four age groups, extending from early to late adulthood, recalled and dated autobiographical memories from across the lifespan. Memories were plotted in terms of age-at-encoding to outline lifespan memory retrieval curves for different age groups. The curves revealed that all age groups had a period of childhood amnesia - although the youngest group (20-year-old) recalled more childhood memories than the older groups. The curve fitting analysis revealed that the lifespan retrieval curve for the 20-year-old group was a straight line, thus no reminiscence bump for this group. Although the curve for 30-year-olds was not a straight line, it did not show any clear bump. The 40-year-olds, however, showed an inverted S-shaped curve with a clear bump covering the period from 6 to 25 years of age. Also the 50-year-olds showed bump that covered the age between 6 to 20 years. The findings suggest that the childhood amnesia is an unavoidable phenomenon in human life, and that people are more likely to show reminiscence bump when they reach their middle age.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalBangladesh Psychological Studies
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • autobiographical memory
  • Reminiscence bump
  • Childhood amnesia
  • Retrieval curve

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