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A child's consciousness is formed at the age of five months

22 April 2013, 10:15

A group of neurophysiologists from central France reported that the basic consciousness in children begins to form in the fifth to sixth months of life. The activity of the brain can indicate the presence of consciousness and the possibility of conscious perception of children, even at an early age. The main properties of consciousness, which were noted by physicians as the most important ones - is the ability to analyze, remember some actions, to distinguish between one's own actions and others.

Consciousness is the way that reality and surrounding reality is reflected in the psyche (the totality of mental phenomena, processes and perceptions). Specialists from Paris spent six months studying the activity of the brain in both adults and children of different ages. They managed to find out that the electrophysiological signs of a completely conscious perception can arise not only in adults, but also in children from the age of five to six months.

The results of the study were published in periodical scientific publications in France and Western Europe. The experiment consisted in the fact that neurophysiologists studied and analyzed brain activity in adults and children in five, twelve and fifteen months. Participants of the experiment were shown distorted photographs and images for a fraction of a second, and brain activity was recorded electronically during the show.

During the analysis of brain activity, scientists managed to establish that during the viewing of photographs in children the same electrophysical reactions appeared as in adults, despite the fact that they were much slower. At the moment it is known that the human brain is capable of processing the seen images in two stages. During the first display of an image or photograph, the peak of brain activity is associated with the receipt of new and unknown information. At the first stage, the new information received is processed first. After a while (about 300 milliseconds), the activity of the brain moves to the perforated cortex of the brain, which, according to modern neurophysiologists, is responsible for the formation of the primary consciousness and perception. Increased activity in this area of the brain tells specialists that the image was seen earlier and became recognizable.

Scientists have noticed that two stages of processing new information arise in children from the age of five months. Accordingly, the five-month-old children can perceive information, remember it, analyze it, and therefore we can assume that they begin to form a consciousness. With each month, children are able to process and perceive information faster and better. For comparison: in six-month-old children, the speed of perception of one image is 900 milliseconds, and for fifteen-month children it is only 750 milliseconds. With age, the child learns to memorize new information, learn it later.

British scientists do not quite agree with the conclusions of colleagues from France. They believe that the experiment is not enough to draw any conclusions about the consciousness of young children.

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