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Animal consciousness: the interplay of neural and behavioural evidence

Crump, Andrew ORCID: 0000-0003-4485-5740 and Birch, Jonathan ORCID: 0000-0001-7517-4759 (2022) Animal consciousness: the interplay of neural and behavioural evidence. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 29 (3-4). 104 - 128. ISSN 1355-8250

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Identification Number: 10.53765/20512201.29.3.104

Abstract

We consider the relationship between neural and behavioural evidence for animal consciousness. We critically examine two recent studies: one neural and one behavioural. The first, on crows, finds different neural activity depending on whether a stimulus is reported as seen or unseen. However, to implicate this neural activity in consciousness, we must assume that a specific conditioned behaviour is a report of conscious experience. The second study, on macaques, records behaviours strikingly similar to patterns of conscious and unconscious perception in humans. However, confounds are only ruled out in human subjects, presupposing substantial neural similarity between humans and macaques. Taken together, the two studies reveal a sense in which neural and behavioural research rely on each other. Looking ahead, these two types of evidence could prove to be either mutually reinforcing or mutually undermining. The science of animal consciousness needs both neural and behavioural evidence, ideally obtained as part of a single coordinated programme.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/imp/jcs
Additional Information: © 2022, The Author(s).
Divisions: CPNSS
Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2022 09:09
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2022 23:13
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/115260

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