The Reminiscence Bump

Jan 21 2013 @ 9:23am

That’s the term for our tendency to “remember more events from late adolescence and early adulthood than from any other stage of our lives.” Katy Waldman describes it further:

Autobiographical memories are not distributed equally across the lifespan. Instead, people tend to experience a period of childhood amnesia between birth and age 5, a reminiscence bump between age 10 and age 30 (with a particular concentration of memories in the early 20s), and at any age, a vivid period of recency from the present waning back to the end of the reminiscence bump.

She spoke with Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything:

[Foer] describes a study in which researchers found that most movie adaptations and remakes occur exactly 20 years after the originals come out. Apparently, whatever touches people as young adults looms so large for the rest of their lives that when they reach the age at which their generation starts to create the culture—around 40—books and screens fill up with the arcana of 20 years ago. “So look out for a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film any day now,” Foer finished.