Recalling vivid nightmares and earliest memories

CNN Photos

In her earliest memory, Lottie Davies is about 2 ½ years old, running through a hospital hallway to see her mother and her newborn brother.

She remembers passing a playroom with a rocking horse in the corner, an attraction that would normally stop her, but she thinks, “I’ll go back and play later.”

First memories are often “flashbulb memories,” vivid recollections of an event, Davies said.

“I found myself thinking about my first childhood memory and musing on its nature — the fact that it is kind of static, it’s the memory of a single moment which I can almost look around in my mind’s eye in a way,” Davies said.

Davies re-created her first memory to start her photo series “Memories and Nightmares.” (It’s the third photo in this gallery.)

She then asked her friends to e-mail theirs so she could illustrate them as well.

“They are the very first thing…

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