The Emergence of Human Consciousness: From Fetal to Neonatal Life

  title={The Emergence of Human Consciousness: From Fetal to Neonatal Life},
  author={Hugo Lagercrantz and Jean Pierre Changeux},
  journal={Pediatric Research},
A simple definition of consciousness is sensory awareness of the body, the self, and the world. The fetus may be aware of the body, for example by perceiving pain. It reacts to touch, smell, and sound, and shows facial expressions responding to external stimuli. However, these reactions are probably preprogrammed and have a subcortical nonconscious origin. Furthermore, the fetus is almost continuously asleep and unconscious partially due to endogenous sedation. Conversely, the newborn infant… 

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