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Josh Hoffman: on 3/25/22 at 0:58am UTC, wrote Laurie Santos, Nicholas A. Fagan, Olga Dal Monte, Ran R. Hassin, Moshe Shay...


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click titles to read articles

The Math of Consciousness: Q&A with Kobi Kremnitzer
A meditating mathematician is developing a theory of conscious experience to help understand the boundary between the quantum and classical world.

Can We Feel What It’s Like to Be Quantum?
Underground experiments in the heart of the Italian mountains are testing the links between consciousness and collapse theories of quantum physics.

The Thermodynamic Limits of Intelligence: Q&A with David Wolpert
Calculating the energy needed to acquire and compute information could help explain the (in)efficiency of human brains and guide the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence.

Gambling Against the Second Law
Using precision thermometry to make mini heat engines, that might, momentarily, bust through the thermodynamic limit.

Mind and Machine: What Does It Mean to Be Sentient?
Using neural networks to test definitions of 'autonomy.'

July 7, 2022

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: 1458: Unfolding Conscious Awareness from Non-Conscious Perception in Non-Human Animals by Moshe Shay Ben-Haim [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Josh Hoffman wrote on Mar. 25, 2022 @ 00:58 GMT
Laurie Santos, Nicholas A. Fagan, Olga Dal Monte, Ran R. Hassin, Moshe Shay Ben-Haim, Steve W. C. Chang, Yarrow Dunham, Laurie Gower

Conscious awareness to the events and stimuli around us is a central part of our everyday experience. Yet, are humans the only species that experiences conscious awareness? Since non-verbal species cannot report their internal states, philosophers and scientists have long debated whether the question of animal consciousness is empirically testable, and it still remains a topic of speculation (Dawkins, 2015; Gutfreund, 2017). In the large spectrum of views, some advocate that consciousness may require complex processes like language, a capacity that is unique to adult humans (Dennett, 1995) or a human-like theory of mind (Carruthers, 1998), which may extend to only a few selected species such as great apes (e.g., Krupenye, Kano, Hirata, Call, & Tomasello, 2016; but see Horschler, MacLean, & Santos, 2020). In contrast, others have used neuroanatomical similarities to argue that a number of species (including some birds and octopuses) are likely to be capable of generating conscious experience (see, for example, the Cambridge declaration on consciousness, 2012). Others argue that non-human animals are conscious on the basis of intelligent behaviors which, at least in humans, seem to coincide with conscious awareness as supporting evidence for animal consciousness. These include behaviors such as planning (Osvath & Osvath, 2008), or metacognition (Hampton, Engelberg, & Brady, 2020; Rosati & Santos, 2016), for review see Boly et al., 2013; Griffin & Speck, 2004. Yet, since many complex human behaviors and high-level functions can be performed outside of conscious awareness (i.e., Hassin, 2013), it is difficult to determine whether non-human animals that display intelligent behaviors are indeed conscious or not (Carruthers, 2018). Furthermore, given the ambiguity and difficulty in disentangling conscious from non-conscious processes in non-verbal species, many consider the question of animal consciousness as far from having been resolved (Dawkins, 2015; Gutfreund, 2017). For many, the gap in evidence needed to unambiguously infer animal consciousness is considered “as wide as ever” (Dawkins, 2012).

Keywords: #Consciousness #Shay_Ben_Haim

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