Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Atlantic offers big article on animal consciousness

Ross Anderson, in the March issue of the Atlantic, explores what consciousness is. “Scientists Are Totally Rethinking Animal Cognition”.   He talks about the intelligence of crows in solving problems in getting at food (dropping nuts at stoplights). Crow brain structures are complex but very different from mammalian; there is no cerebral cortex. Crows also seem to recognize people in their environments and will revisit them (so do mockingbirds) to “check up on them”. I had a crow scream at me to get inside the day of Hurricane Sandy.

Later he gets into the consciousness of fish and even social insects, and possibly one-celled organisms. But he doesn’t get into integrated information theory as have some other articles.

One thing of interest to me is when wild animals do make friends with people (bobcats, foxes).

Back in 1993, Time Magazine had an article, “Do Animals Think?”

In January 2017. Geoffrey Smith had written about research in the consciousness of the octopus, which is considerable, even if the brain is distributed through the body.  It may resemble wavering among dream-like states.

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