Consciousness Redux: When Does Consciousness Arise?; September / October 2009; Scientific American Mind; by Christof Koch; 2 Page(s)
Mothers will want to crucify me for this seemingly cruel question, but it needs to be posed: How do we know that a newly born and healthy infant is conscious? There is no question that the baby is awake. Its eyes are wide open, it wriggles and grimaces, and, most important, it cries. But all that is not the same as being conscious, of experiencing pain, seeing red or smelling Mom's milk.
It is well recognized that infants have no awareness of their own state, emotions and motivations. Even older children who can speak have very limited insight into their own actions. Anybody who has raised a boy is familiar with the blank look on your teenager's face when you ask him why he did something particularly rash. A shrug and "I dunno—it seemed like a good idea at the time" is the most you'll hear.