What it is like to be a baby

I found these claims intriguing, but memory did not provide a test:

Gopnik argues that babies are not only conscious, they are more conscious
than adults.  Her argument for this view begins with the idea that
people in general — adults, that is — have more conscious experience
of what they attend to than of what they disregard…

Baby brains, Gopnik says, exhibit a much broader plasticity than adults’ and have a general neurochemistry
similar to the neurochemistry involved in adult attention.  Babies learn
more quickly than we do, and about more things, and pick up more
incidental knowledge outside a narrow band of attention.  Gopnik
suggests that we think of attention, in adults, as something like a
mechanism that turns part of our mature and slow-changing
brains, for a brief period, flexible, quick learning, and plastic —
baby-like — while suppressing change in the rest of the brain.

what is it like to be a baby?  According to Gopnik, it’s something like
attending to everything at once:  There’s much less of the reflexive and
ignored, the non-conscious, the automatic and expert.  She suggests that
the closest approximation adults typically get to baby-like experience
is when they are in completely novel environments, such as very
different cultures, where everything is new.

In my view, some people have a better sense (a much better sense) of what it is like to be a baby than others…


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