[ELI5] What stops a brain organoid from developing of being identified as sentient?


I recently saw a post on the popular page about a brain organoid being coaxed into developing rudimentary eyes that have the capability of sending signals to the brain cells. What separates these organoids from being identified as a being vs a fully grown brain?

In: Biology

We don’t know what makes our brain sentient. There’s nothing we can point to in our brain (apart from it’s complexity) that makes us understand why we experience ourselves as ‘a being’ that owns a body and is able to navigate the world.

We can hypothesize, based on behaviors of other animals and our own, that forms of consciousness may exist in other life forms as well – though we can not be sure (and depending on how philosophical we get, there isn’t much we can really be sure of anyway).

And while there are some animals where we can see some similarities with how they react in social settings, or to other stimuli.. that we can ‘see’ how they may experience some kind of sentience as well (for instance, a gorilla), it’s difficult to say where this ends. Also, we don’t know whether consciousness can be ‘cut up’ into sub-components, and what biological characteristics are related to them. So is there something like ‘consciousness’, and ‘meta-consciousness’, or a low-level form of ‘consciousness’ reserved for less complex organisms? And could we re-create this in the lab; and how would we know once we created it?