Brains Blog Roundtable: Animal Consciousness

We are delighted to announce the next in our series of Brains Blog Roundtables. The topic of this discussion is animal consciousness!

Please join Dan Burnston and our fantastic panelists, Liz Irvine (Cardiff), Rachael Brown (ANU), and Jonathan Birch (LSE) for a great discussion about how to investigate, measure, and theorize about animal consciousness, as well as the upshot of these debates for ethics and policy.

Please see below for links to material cited in the video. Previous roundtables can be viewed at

Rachael Brown, Philosophy Department, Australia National University

The Evolved Mind, forthcoming, Cambridge University Press.

Jonathan Birch, Philosophy Department, London School of Economics

The search for invertebrate consciousness.  Nous. 

The Evolution of Social Behavior.

Birch, J., Burn, C., Schnell, A., Browning, H., & Crump, A. 2021. Review of the evidence of sentience in cephalopod molluscs and decapod crustaceans. LSE Consulting.

Liz Irvine, Philosophy Department, Cardiff University

Consciousness as a Scientific Concept:

Andy Clark and His Critics.

Other works cited:

Nieder, A., Wagener, L., & Rinnert, P. (2020). A neural correlate of sensory consciousness in a corvid bird. Science, 369(6511), 1626-1629.

Peter Godfrey-Smith.  Other Minds:  The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness.  Macmillan.

Simona Ginsburg and Eva Jablonka. (2019).  The Evolution of the Sensitive Soul:  Learning and the Origins of Consciousness.  MIT Press.

Other scholars referenced:

Barron, A., & Klein, C. (2016). What insects can tell us about the origins of consciousness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U S A, 113(18), 4900-4908. doi:10.1073/pnas.1520084113

Jennifer A. Mather.

Elizabeth Schechter:

Tim Bayne:

Victor Lamme:

One comment

  1. Paul D. Van Pelt

    I would hope and imagine this includes up-to-date findings, which I have not followed. My beginning enlightenment on this sub-topic originated with Edelman and others, I.e., primary consciousness and so on.

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