The Nature of Early Memory: An Adaptive Theory of the Genesis and Development of Memory

In this useful text, Mark L. Howe presents the most complete book-length exegesis of the research and theory concerning the emergence and development of declarative, long-term memory from birth through early adolescence. The book also contains the first presentation of Howe's theory that memory is an adaptive mechanism that is used to guide the development and survival of the organism in an initially novel, yet changing environment. The book is divided into four parts: In the first part, Howe discusses why memory development is important; in the second, he discusses infantile amnesia and autobiographical memory; in the third part, Howe explores a series of key factors that have an impact on early memory development-distinctiveness, emotion, stress, and early memory; and finally, he gives a detailed presentation of the theory of memory as an adaptation, and applies results to real-world problems. In addition to reviewing the basic-science research on both humans and nonhuman animals, Howe devotes a significant portion of the book to clinical and forensic topics, including the roles of stress and trauma in memory development, the development of false recollection, memory for traumatic experiences, the effects of depression, PTSD, and dissociation on early memory development, and nonhuman animal research on the nature of infantile amnesia. In bringing together this diverse-yet-influential body of literature, Howe presents a valuable resource for anyone interested in research on memory.