Dr. Oz says there is a medical explanation for this phenomenon. In the same way that a driver on the highway "on autopilot" can miss her exit, another person forgets her oldest memories. "What's happening is this part of your brain, the cortex—the part that's doing all the executive function—it's continually repressing your reptilian brain—the deep part of the brain that has our most ancient memories in it," he says. "But if you can free that part of the brain, you can express yourself and find out minute details of your childhood or maybe things beyond that."
That part of the brain that houses ancient memories has a strong pull on our lives, Dr. Oz says. "We have spent so much time on these shows trying to get folks to change behaviors, whether it's cigarette smoking or weight loss or addictions or whatever it may be," he says. "You begin to realize that 90 percent of what drives us is not what we're thinking about; it's not the cortex—the part ... that's making logical decisions. It's the emotional, decision-making quality, and that's the reptilian brain."