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Dimensions of animal consciousness

Birch, Jonathan ORCID: 0000-0001-7517-4759, Schnell, Alexandra K. and Clayton, Nicola S. (2020) Dimensions of animal consciousness. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 24 (10). 789 - 801. ISSN 1364-6613

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.tics.2020.07.007


How does consciousness vary across the animal kingdom? Are some animals ‘more conscious’ than others? This article presents a multidimensional framework for understanding interspecies variation in states of consciousness. The framework distinguishes five key dimensions of variation: perceptual richness, evaluative richness, integration at a time, integration across time, and self-consciousness. For each dimension, existing experiments that bear on it are reviewed and future experiments are suggested. By assessing a given species against each dimension, we can construct a consciousness profile for that species. On this framework, there is no single scale along which species can be ranked as more or less conscious. Rather, each species has its own distinctive consciousness profile.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2020 11:00
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2024 05:00

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