Animal consciousness: a synthetic approach
Edelman (David B.) & Seth (Anil Kumar)
Source: Trends in Neurosciences, Volume 32, Issue 9, September 2009, Pages 476-484
Paper - Abstract

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Authors’ Abstract

  1. Despite anecdotal evidence suggesting conscious states in a variety of non-human animals, no systematic neuroscientific investigation of animal consciousness has yet been undertaken.
  2. We set forth a framework for such an investigation that incorporates integration of data from neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and behavioral studies, uses evidence from humans as a benchmark, and recognizes the critical role of explicit verbal report of conscious experiences in human studies.
  3. We illustrate our framework with reference to two subphyla: one relatively near to mammals – birds – and one quite far –cephalopod molluscs.
  4. Consistent with the possibility of conscious states, both subphyla exhibit complex behavior and possess sophisticated nervous systems. Their further investigation may reveal common phyletic conditions and neural substrates underlying the emergence of animal consciousness.


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