@target180's post

in [2019] AIMCAT 2016 :: 27th July to 29th July
Updated 9 months ago

AIMCAT 2016 2nd RC Doubt


"After all, certain animals that have large and complex brains relative to their body size — such as mice and rats — but do not have language or, presumably, our level of self-awareness, also lose the memories they make in infancy."


Doesn't this sentence actually negate the point it is trying to make?


It was previously believed that infants lose memories because of a lack of sense of self, and lack of use of language and communication. The same is observed in mices and rats, who also do not have language. So does this not strenghten the previously believed theory? This proves that in any case where language is absent, memories will vanish more easily.


I feel instead of writing how mices and rats are similar to humans in the respect of losing memories of infant age, they should have written how they are similar in retaining memories of adult age, DESPITE a lack of language in mices and rats. 

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KrishnaSripada
@KrishnaSripada  ·  24 karma

Okay, now I understand why you got this doubt. So you are reading the sentence without the 'After all' in the beginning. The 'After all' changes everything, but I guess you completely ignored it. 

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tenfeettall
@tenfeettall  ·  65 karma

The confusion stems from this phrase - "their absence could not be the whole explanation for childhood amnesia". After this comes the above sentence. So basically what the author is saying is no language --> no memory --> but cannot be whole explanation --> after all, other animals --> no language --> no memory. When he says that it cannot be the full explanation, you expect him to provide some other explanation, but instead of that he/she seems to strengthen their original argument. However, now that I read it - what @KrishnaSripada said makes sense - the author meant that animals who have nothing to do with language, either in their infancy or in their adulthood, still lose their memories in infancy. So language cannot be the reason or the full explanation.

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