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Cognitive Neuroscience

Feelings

Publication Year

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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy of Mind

What Would We Like To Know By Imaging The Brains Of Dogs?, Ralph Adolphs Jan 2018

What Would We Like To Know By Imaging The Brains Of Dogs?, Ralph Adolphs

Animal Sentience

Using fMRI to study emotions in animals is important, fascinating, and fraught with methodological and conceptual problems. Cook et al. are doing it, and there is no question that they and others will be doing it better and better as time goes on. Where will this lead us? What could fMRI in principle tell us about the minds of nonhuman animals?


Dogs Consciously Experience Emotions: The Question Is, Which?, Ralph Adolphs Jan 2017

Dogs Consciously Experience Emotions: The Question Is, Which?, Ralph Adolphs

Animal Sentience

I discuss three themes related to Kujala’s target article. First, the wealth of emerging data on cognitive studies in dogs will surely show that dogs have a very rich repertoire of cognitive processes, for most of which we find homologues in humans. Second, understanding the internal states that mediate social behaviors, such as emotions, requires us to consider both a dog’s behaviors with other dogs, and the emergence of new behavioral patterns in interaction with humans. Third, all of this will certainly narrow the range of justifications for denying that dogs have subjective experiences of emotions.


Brain Processes For “Good” And “Bad” Feelings: How Far Back In Evolution?, Jaak Panksepp Jan 2016

Brain Processes For “Good” And “Bad” Feelings: How Far Back In Evolution?, Jaak Panksepp

Animal Sentience

The question of whether fish can experience pain or any other feelings can only be resolved by neurobiologically targeted experiments. This commentary summarizes why this is essential for resolving scientific debates about consciousness in other animals, and offers specific experiments that need to be done: (i) those that evaluate the rewarding and punishing effects of specific brain regions and systems (for instance, with deep-brain stimulation); (ii) those that evaluate the capacity of animals to regulate their affective states; and (iii) those that have direct implications for human affective feelings, with specific predictions — for instance, the development of new treatments for ...


Pain In Fish: Weighing The Evidence, James D. Rose Jan 2016

Pain In Fish: Weighing The Evidence, James D. Rose

Animal Sentience

The target article by Key (2016) examines whether fish have brain structures capable of mediating pain perception and consciousness, functions known to depend on the neocortex in humans. He concludes, as others have concluded (Rose 2002, 2007; Rose et al. 2014), that such functions are impossible for fish brains. This conclusion has been met with hypothetical assertions by others to the effect that functions of pain and consciousness may well be possible through unknown alternate neural processes. Key's argument would be bolstered by consideration of other neurological as well as behavioral evidence, which shows that sharks and ray are ...


Should Fish Feel Pain? A Plant Perspective, František Baluška Jan 2016

Should Fish Feel Pain? A Plant Perspective, František Baluška

Animal Sentience

Key (2016) claims fish that fish do not feel pain because they lack the necessary neuronal architecture: their responses to noxious stimuli, according to Key, are executed automatically without any feelings. However, as pointed out by many of his commentators, this conclusion is not convincing. Plants might provide some clues. Plants are not usually thought to be very active behaviorally, but the evidence suggests otherwise. Moreover, in stressful situations, plants produce numerous chemicals that have painkilling and anesthetic properties. Finally, plants, when treated with anesthetics, cannot execute active behaviors such as touch-induced leaf movements or rapid trap closures after localizing ...


Animal Suffering Calls For More Than A Bigger Cage, Simon R. B. Leadbeater Jan 2016

Animal Suffering Calls For More Than A Bigger Cage, Simon R. B. Leadbeater

Animal Sentience

Ng (2016) argues for incremental welfare biology partly because it would be impossible to demonstrate conclusively that animals are sentient. He argues that low cost changes in industrial practices and working collaboratively may be more effective in advancing animal welfare than more adversarial approaches. There is merit in some of Ng’s recommendations but a number of his arguments are, in my view, misdirected. The fact that nonhuman animals feel has already been adequately demonstrated. Cruelty to animals is intrinsic to some industries, so the only way to oppose it is to oppose the industry.