A baby in utero who is exposed to stress develops his or her hind brain/amygdala more than his or her fore-brain. The fore-brain is the neo-cortex which appears to be active with regard to intelligence, perception and creativity, whereas the hind brain deals with physicality, defence and stress situations. Thus the stressed baby emerges prepared for a stressed (violent) environment and the relaxed baby emerges ready for a relaxed (empathetic) environment.
These factors are compounded by life learning; thus adverse conditioning or adverse childhood experience(s) can increase the tendency towards violent and controlling behaviours, which are often the symptoms of brain damage caused by those experiences; and empathetic nurturing increases the tendency towards peaceful egalitarian non-controlling behaviours, as the child’s brain is nurtured according to it’s nature.
Babies in utero develop touch and volitional movement by 7 weeks, light sensitivity at 10 weeks, (even though the eyes are not fully developed until 26 weeks), sensitivity to pain at 12 weeks, taste at 14 weeks, hearing at 16 weeks (even though the ear is not fully developed until 24 weeks), and spend more time in dream state at 30 weeks than in awake state, awareness and response to the language of the mother is evident at 25 weeks.
* Consciousness at birth: The range of empirical evidence (1983/1987). In Thomas Verny (Ed.), Pre- & perinatal psychology: An introduction (pp. 69-90). New York: Human Sciences Press.
Evidence of birth memories indicate full cognitive abilities at birth, equivalent to an adults abilities...
What is also known and well understood is that the environmental conditions act so as to switch gene expression on or off and indeed 'writes' new genetics, which may then be passed on….another way to say this is that genes are responsive, though it's the RNA which initiates the 'writing' of or 'alteration' new genes. There is an interplay between the structural instruction sets and the environment, and they affect each other.
The tendency towards obesity evident in the current epidemic of obesity arose first out of a generation of people who ate fast foods, processed foods, were exposed to toxic chemicals and who have experienced various societal stressors such as trans-generational trauma which is directly correlated to symptoms of distress (“it’s my wall of protection” or “life is shorter” given as felt explanations of their obesity by obese people) and we now see obesity emerging in very young children.
Whilst there are genes that are 'related' to the incidence of obesity, it is the environmental experiential conditions that cause their expression in the first place. And those environmental conditions are man-made pure and simple.
Not by humanity as whole, but by the decisions of those in Power and within Hierarchical Power Structures and Institutions which have a massive impact on the lived experience of peoples lives, and for which those people affected have, as yet, no means to counter effectively..
Seeking or promoting a ‘cure’ with first dealing with the environmental issues is a way of protecting the creators of those environmental conditions and of blaming those who become obese, addicted, distressed as a result of those conditions. The 'cure' is aimed at the symptoms of the person distress, not at the conditions that give rise to that person’s distress in the first place.
And it is the lack of prevention, implicit in the marketing of those toxic processed sweets and 'foods' precisely directed at those communities that experience most deprivation, and thus distress, that brings that tendency or genetic environmental response into material reality.
Essentially, a massive act of control-freakery. Industrial civilisation tends towards the more violent controlling behaviours common to, if not essential to, Power Relationships.
To change the trajectory of the dominant civilisation, we have to treat ourselves and our children with far more empathy, detailed empathy, from conception onwards... to create the conditions that will support an emerging Empathic Society we have to examine Power Relationships carefully and make changes. And then we must continue, day by day, to build in the genetics of that natural empathy, in the path towards natural sustainability for all life on Earth.
Here's a classic example of the environmental factors being downgraded in importance, compared to genetic factors. They barely mention the fact that economic deprivation, cultural deprivation are often INTENSE as environmental operators, or signals capable of affecting the genes themselves, as much as the day to day behaviour - and they omit the knowledge that brain damage caused by trauma, adverse childhood experiences, toxic chemicals; thus slanting the focus on the genes.
Much of the info regarding a babies consciousness comes from the research of David Chamberlain :
Do what you love, it's Your Gift to Universe