If you could not make sense of a childhood story that your parents and neighbours related, you are not alone; childhood memories do fade and researchers have found that growth of new cells in brain could erase old memories to make way for new ones.

Newly-formed neurons in the hippocampus (an area of the brain involved in memory formation) could dislodge previously learned information, said the study.

“Memory is based on a circuit, so if you add to this circuit, it makes sense that it would disrupt it,” said Sheena Josselyn, a neuroscientist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada.

For the study, researchers tested newborn and adult mice on a conditioning task, training the animals to fear an environment in which they received repeated electric shocks.

The study appeared in the journal Science.

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