Babies’ consciousness, development studied

Finding the point at which babies’ reactions change from being purely reflexive to reflecting more intention is leading researches to focus on the first glimmers of conscious thought in infants as young as 5 months old.

Ideally, the infant studies would enable scientists to trace a trajectory of how consciousness generates. “You can start to use this method very early to basically try to check whether there is normal or abnormal development,” says Sid Kouider, a researcher at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris.  “We know that autistic children can have trouble being aware of faces, and you could imagine this kind of method to diagnose early on whether someone is reacting in a normal way to objects or faces.”

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