The Science of Consciousness:

Chapter 5: Animal Consciousness

What this chapter is about: Which animals are conscious, and how can we tell?

I am sure Beau, my pooodle, is conscious - he is aware. I am less certain that he is self-aware, but I think he is. What about a fish? A worm?

I have written a blog about mental illness and its relation to consciousness. Existential concerns are limited to humans. Beau doesn't have a phobia about death (I think); I do.


In the news


Cephalopods feel pain

On the BBC site and elsewhere in June 2021. An octopus is intelligent, sentient, and feels pain, and should be protected by the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill - even though they're invertebrates. Just because these animals process information in a different way from us, and lack a single brain, doesn't mean they are incapable of feeling pain - see here for the orginal Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation report. I'm surprised that anyone who knows anything about octopuses (and crustaceans including lobsters) would think otherwise.

See also:

´╗┐Crook, R. J. (2021). Behavioral and neurophysiological evidence suggests affective pain experience in octopus. IScience, 24(3), 102229. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2021.102229