Use COVID-19 Alert Level 2 contact tracing form when on campus.

Tamara Diesch

Doctor of Philosophy, (Physiology)
Study Completed: 2010
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Neurological development and the potential for conscious perception after birth: Comparison between species and implications for animal welfare

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Ms Diesch investigated the onset of consciousness after birth in several species of animals. To this end, pain-specific electrical responses of the brain were examined in lightly anaesthetised young and the results interpreted in terms of brain and behavioural development. The findings suggest that in animals born with less mature brains (such as marsupials and rodents) consciousness is initially not present at birth and develops thereafter. In contrast, in animals born with mature brains (such as sheep and cattle) consciousness is present within minutes of birth but may be dulled for the first 12 hours by sedative hormones produced by the brain. The results of these studies have some novel implications for the maintenance of animal welfare standards in developmental research facilities and when dealing with newborn wildlife, companion animals and livestock.

Professor David Mellor
Professor Craig Johnson

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey