Fetal sentience

An embryo, just a lump of meaningless goo, growing in size as the cells multiply. Few weeks on and there appears something that finally crosses the hazy boundary between weird-goo-clumps and human fetus. Yet as a fetus, it only just vaguely resembles the human form. It does not even have a brain - the brain circuitry develops slowly. Then one day soon the cognitive processes slowly start kicking in despite the senses being not all developed yet. The senses start coming on one by one as the organs develop and the neural pathways to the cerebral cortex become established.

When the sense of touch comes, it feels big! As big as it wishes to perceive. As big as an endless entity. The untuned, uncalibrated sense of touch does not have a set of measuring units developed for defining distances. There is nothing to take as a reference. When the auditory system comes on, it is a confusing jumble of "noise" at first. It is unable to really make out anything intelligible. Nevertheless, as the neural links develop soon it begins to distinguish differences and begin labeling them - diff 1, diff 2... In later life, it adds meaning to these differences: diff 1 may become top and anti-diff 1 becomes bottom, diff 2 may become left... and so on.

The sense of touch and sense of hearing are now both active and the brain is left in a new playground. It shoots off to seek differences and the touch and sounds are unified and relations established. The brain maps the sounds to a projection in "space" in terms of the 3-dimensional space from the sense of touch. However, it may well be that the differences it makes in this primitive step is just another meaningless segmentation and classification of sensory signals...

When the baby is finally born and the seclusion in the womb ends, it sees the light of the world. A whole new and revolutionary change begins. The brain attempts to tie in sights, sounds, touch, odors and taste into a harmonious melody. Locomotion finds new possibilities and the visual system kicks into constant overdrive. As the human grows further, the sensory signal combinations all get attached meaning - direct and/or abstract - till finally, you are able to effectively read the junk I just wrote and (sort of) make sense of it all yet remain in a bewildered state best described with the letters WTF!!


  1. No Trackbacks


Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)

  1. No comments

Add Comment

HTML-Tags will be converted to Entities.
Standard emoticons like :-) and ;-) are converted to images.
To leave a comment you must approve it via e-mail, which will be sent to your address after submission.