Perceptual awareness in infants during the first year of life is understudied, despite the philosophical, scientific, and clinical importance of understanding how and when consciousness emerges during human brain development. Although parents are undoubtedly convinced that their infant is conscious, the lack of adequate experimental paradigms to address this question in preverbal infants has been a hindrance to research on this topic. However, recent behavioral and brain imaging studies have shown that infants are engaged in complex learning from an early age and that their brains are more structured than traditionally thought. I will present a rapid overview of these results, which might provide indirect evidence of early perceptual awareness and then describe how a more systematic approach to this question could stand within the framework of global workspace theory, which identifies specific signatures of conscious perception in adults. Relying on these brain signatures as a benchmark for conscious perception, we can deduce that it exists in the second half of the first year, whereas the evidence before the age of 5 months is less solid, mainly because of the paucity of studies. The question of conscious perception before term remains open, with the possibility of short periods of conscious perception, which would facilitate early learning. Advances in brain imaging and growing interest in this subject should enable us to gain a better understanding of this important issue in the years to come.

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