When does fetus acquire concouiness?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Muslim, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. Muslim Immortal Valued Senior Member

    When does the fetus, devolp concouiness (I know its spelt wrong am dyslexic, you know what I mean) how many weeks old, is it at 3 weeks? 5 weeks? 12 weeks, etc... please give me scientific/medical links too, which back your argument up.
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  3. vslayer Registered Senior Member

    it develops self awareness some time between 1 and 3 years of age.
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  5. Muslim Immortal Valued Senior Member

    when does it acquire consciousness?
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  7. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Definition of

    the quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself

    the state or fact of being conscious of an external object, state, or fact

    awareness ; especially : concern for some social or political cause

    the upper level of mental life of which the person is aware as contrasted with unconscious processes.

    So with that as a definition when would you say a fetus is "conscious"? :shrug:
  8. lcat Registered Member

    I cannot give you a week of development at which a fetus DOES have a conscousness, but we can say at which point it COULD have a consciousness -- and not before.

    Consciousness depends on our neurons being able to communicate with each other; all the medical evidence and understanding we have in medicine and neuroscience points to consciousness and awareness arising out of cell interactions. This being the case, several criteria must be met:

    1. The neurons must be sufficiently mature to develop an action potential, that is, the electrical inequality from one end of the cell to the other which allows a charge to pass through the cell.

    2. It helps if the myelin sheaths of nerves have developed. Without that insulation, nerve cells cannot transmit the charge from one end of the nerve cell to the other without it being attenuated, interfered with, or lost. This is why demyelinization diseases are so devastating.

    3. The body must be producing neurotransmitters; these chemicals allow the charge from one neuron to be transmitted across the interstitial spaces between cells. Without the presence of neurotransmitters, each neuron is isolated.

    And we know roughly when these things start to happen in the developing fetus, although it varies slightly from one to the next. But based on that, we can say that there is definitely NOT anything like a fully working nervous system before week 20, although spontaneous, disconnected neural activity can be observed starting about week 17 -- but spontaneous, disconnected neural activity of precisely the same sort can be observed in people in a mostly brain-dead, vegetative state, so I do not think that can count as "consciousness" in a logically consistent system.

    A fetus will start responding to sound about week 21-22, so at that point we know that perception at some basic level is hooked up. And by week 36, there is certainly some rudimentary consciousness, although even the consciousness of a full term newborn is pretty primitive in terms of processing stimuli and making any sense of what is going on around it. So your best bet for pinpointing "beginning of consciousness" would probably be, somewhere in the weeks 21-36, as vague as that is. But there is no reason to think that consciousness is like flipping a switch, first it isn't there and then suddenly it is! It's far more likely that it is like tuning in an analog radio; lots of static, and then, as you slowly rotate the dial, more and more snippets of coherence, finally becoming enough of a coherent signal to say that you have something. Function will just "fade in" as the systems supporting that function mature.
  9. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Around one year. Though it could be 18 years before an identity develops.
  10. YinyangDK Registered Senior Member

    When did you become aware of your self?
    How far back can you remember?
  11. lcat Registered Member

    ...And here I was thinking that consciousness was a bit more, well, rudimentary than intelligence. :scratchin:
  12. Muslim Immortal Valued Senior Member

    So, whats the big deal with abortions then and killing a baby which does not have concouiness.

    Would it be more evil to kill baby, or keep an polar bear in captivity, the the concuiness of the polor bear more valube then an unconsciousness baby?

    well thinking back, I had my penis cut, when I was under 1 YEARS old, I don't remember it, but it must have been painful... The earlist memory I have is, my cousin sister taking a picture of me, I suppose I was 1 - 2 year old, and the really cool thing is, we still have that photo, and I can remember things behind the camera, my mom freaked out when I told her about all the ppl in the room and even what some of them were holding... LOL I remember that very vividly, I think that was the first time it all started working. I also remember walking, being able to walk.

    I also remember, I could stand for ages I used to stand in one spot for up to 8 hours, I can still do it, I can stand in one spot for 24hrs, I can stand for ages, I have extra power or something... Sometimes I do this in my room when no one is watching, I like it, and I will stand for hours!!!
  13. brokenpower Registered Senior Member

    Well that was useless, congrats... you can stand for long periods of time.

    Anyone have a gold star?
  14. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    A landstander? Isn't that from the TV show Home Movies?
  15. Muslim Immortal Valued Senior Member

    I don't know but I can stand in one place for ages, more then 12 hours in one spot, try it.
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Wait wait wait. Consciousness can't be something that just snaps into place one day. It's way too complicated not to build up gradually. Those of you who say it happens many months after birth are, I think, using too strict a definition. All mammals and birds have consciousness by the common definition of the word, and it's arguable whether the exothermic vertebrates have it too, and even some of the lower phyla like the octopus.

    I don't think we can say with certainty that a nearly full-term fetus is never conscious.

    As for concouiness, I think we'd all agree that it takes a certain level of consciousness before a fetus becomes intelligent enough to spell. I just love it when moderators don't correct the spelling in thread titles, don't you? Makes the ToC page so entertaining.
  17. Vkothii Banned Banned

    I think the question is in the same category as: "when is a piece of string long enough?".

    Considering birth is a significant event, which a "nice safe one" isn't guaranteed by evolution, then it gets even more general.

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