When does this self-awareness set in?
A particular study has shed some light.
In this study, pregnant mothers read aloud a 3 minute story, in the last 6 weeks on their pregnancy.
Within 2 days of birth, these babies were tested if they recognized the story or not. Researchers measured the rate of sucking a nipple, while the mothers read aloud the story. It turns out when the same story was read to them, the rate went up, but when it was a different story the rate went down.
They preferred the familiar story, hinting that 3rd trimester fetuses can acquire some audible information in the womb.
Some say that a baby is completely unconscious until birth, this study proves that they are aware of auditory details even in the womb.
The question of when thoughts start rising in the brain, is still up to debate, although scientists have found that 5 month old babies have working memory, and have certain spikes in their brain waves when seeing a moving object.
Their brain reactions were similar to that of an adult suggesting they may be capable of thought.
SOURCE: Evolution of Consciousness by Euan M. Macphail and this article
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