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Machine Learning To Predict Pupillary Dynamics In Conscious Visual Perception, Jacob S. Prince, Jackson Ding, Owen Morgan 2017 Yale University

Machine Learning To Predict Pupillary Dynamics In Conscious Visual Perception, Jacob S. Prince, Jackson Ding, Owen Morgan

Yale Day of Data

Many recent studies have attempted to isolate the neural correlates of consciousness. A promising paradigm involves contrasting the mechanisms involved in the conscious perception of a visual stimulus with those at work when the same stimulus is presented but not consciously seen by the subject. One difficulty these studies often present is that they rely on the subject’s report (usually via button presses) to gauge his or her conscious awareness of the stimulus––the act of reporting upon one’s experience likely induces extra cognitive activity beyond what naturally occurs during conscious perception, such as memorizing some feature of ...


Reef Society And The Tyranny Of Data, Robert Wintner 2016 Snorkel Bob's Hawaii

Reef Society And The Tyranny Of Data, Robert Wintner

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Modern science now approaches divergent processes in many areas, including health assessments of marine eco-systems and social aspects of marine species. Scientific data have long enjoyed a reputation for objectivity but incidents of science-for-hire, data spinning/skewing and political jading are more frequent than ever. In the field of reef creature sensitivity, technical treatises can “logically” explain away what a person of average education can clearly observe on any given reef. Western medicine discounted anecdotal evidence of any cure outside the 4% margin of error until those cures demanded attention and in some cases application. Modern science must now enter ...


Still Wondering How Flesh Can Feel, Gwen J. Broude 2016 Vassar College

Still Wondering How Flesh Can Feel, Gwen J. Broude

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Reber believes he has simplified Chalmers’s “hard problem” of consciousness by arguing that subjectivity is an inherent feature of biological forms. His argument rests on the related notions of continuity of mind and gradual accretion of capacities across evolutionary time. These notions need to be defended, not just asserted. Because Reber minimizes the differences in mental faculties among species across evolutionary time, it becomes easier to assert, and perhaps believe, that sentience is already present in early biological forms. The more explicit we are about the differences among these mental faculties and the differences across species, the less persuasive ...


Animals Aren’T Persons, But Is It Time For A Neologism?, Helen Steward 2016 University of Leeds

Animals Aren’T Persons, But Is It Time For A Neologism?, Helen Steward

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Mark Rowlands argues that at least some animals are persons, based on the idea that (i) many animals have a property he calls “pre-reflective awareness,” (ii) the capacity for pre-reflective awareness is sufficient to satisfy the traditional Lockean definition of personhood, and (iii) satisfaction of the traditional Lockean definition of personhood is sufficient for being a person. I agree with (i) and can see that there is a persuasive case for (ii), but I think the case against (iii) blocks the conclusion that animals are persons. I suggest that we may need instead to coin a neologism in order to ...


Tasting Sounds: A Review Of Synesthesia Mechanism Theories, Macy A. Watson 2016 University of Wyoming

Tasting Sounds: A Review Of Synesthesia Mechanism Theories, Macy A. Watson

Honors Theses AY 16/17

Synesthesia is a neural phenomenon in which stimulation of a particular sense consistently activates an abnormal perception in another sense. While much research has been conducted into this condition, the exact neural mechanisms that give rise to this condition have not yet been identified. The first part of this review introduces background information on the types of synesthesia that have been identified, as well as key aspects about the condition that differentiate it from other neurological conditions. The review then considers current theories on the neural mechanisms that could give rise to synesthesia, and why determining a conclusive cause is ...


Reber’S Caterpillar Offers No Help, Carl Safina 2016 Stony Brook University

Reber’S Caterpillar Offers No Help, Carl Safina

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Reber’s target article “Caterpillars, consciousness and the origins of mind” seems only to shift but not to address the question of where the mind is and how minds occur.



Insect Consciousness: Commitments, Conflicts And Consequences, Colin Klein, Andrew B. Barron 2016 Macquarie University, Australia

Insect Consciousness: Commitments, Conflicts And Consequences, Colin Klein, Andrew B. Barron

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Our target article, “Insects have the capacity for subjective experience,” has provoked a diverse range of commentaries. In this response we have collated what we see as the major themes of the discussion. It is clear that we differ from some commentators in our commitments to what subjective experience is and what the midbrain is capable of. Here we clarify where we stand on those points and how our view differs from some other influential perspectives. The commentaries have highlighted the most lively areas of disagreement. We revisit here the debates surrounding whether the cortex is essential for any form ...


Consciousness And Evolutionary Biology, Yew-Kwang Ng 2016 Nanyang Technological University

Consciousness And Evolutionary Biology, Yew-Kwang Ng

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Reber’s axiom: “Any organism with flexible cell walls, a sensitivity to its surrounds and the capacity for locomotion will possess the biological foundations of mind and consciousness” does not seem to be supported by things we know and the logic of evolutionary biology. The latter leads to the conclusion that conscious species are flexible in their behavior (rather than in their cell walls), as argued in Ng (1995, 2016). Locomotion may be completely hard-wired and need not involve consciousness. It is hard enough to explain how consciousness could emerge in a sophisticated brain: Isn’t it a harder problem ...


The Difference Between Conscious And Unconscious Brain Circuits, Ezequiel Morsella, Zaviera Reyes 2016 San Francisco State University

The Difference Between Conscious And Unconscious Brain Circuits, Ezequiel Morsella, Zaviera Reyes

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Theoretical frameworks in which consciousness is an inherent property of the neuron must account for the contrast between conscious and unconscious processes in the brain and address how neural events can ever be unconscious if consciousness is a property of all neurons. Other approaches have sought answers regarding consciousness by contrasting conscious and unconscious processes and through investigating the complex interactions between the two kinds of processes, as occurs most notably in human voluntary action. In voluntary action, consciousness is associated most, not with motor control or low-level perceptual processing, but with the stage of processing known as action selection.



Resolving The Hard Problem And Calling For A Small Miracle, Arthur S. Reber 2016 University of British Columbia

Resolving The Hard Problem And Calling For A Small Miracle, Arthur S. Reber

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

With the exception of the commentary by Key, the commentaries on Reber have a common feature: the commenters feel, with varying levels of enthusiasm, that there is at least some virtue in the core assumption of the Cellular Basis of Consciousness (CBC) theory that consciousness (or subjectivity or sentience) accompanies the earliest forms of life. The model has two important entailments: (a) it resolves the (in)famous Hard Problem by redirecting the search for the biochemical foundations of sentience away from human consciousness; and (b) it reduces the need for an emergentist miracle to a far simpler scale than is ...


No Help On The Hard Problem, Derek Ball 2016 University of St Andrews

No Help On The Hard Problem, Derek Ball

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

The hard problem of consciousness is to explain why certain physical states are conscious: why do they feel the way they do, rather than some other way or no way at all? Arthur Reber (2016) claims to solve the hard problem. But he does not: even if we grant that amoebae are conscious, we can ask why such organisms feel the way they do, and Reber’s theory provides no answer. Still, Reber’s theory may be methodologically useful: we do not yet have a satisfactory theory of consciousness, but perhaps the study of simple minds is a way to ...


Unconscious Higher-Order Thoughts (Hots) As Pre-Reflective Self-Awareness?, Rocco J. Gennaro 2016 The University of Southern Indiana

Unconscious Higher-Order Thoughts (Hots) As Pre-Reflective Self-Awareness?, Rocco J. Gennaro

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Rowlands argues that many nonhuman animals are “persons,” contrary to the prevailing orthodoxy which rests on a mistaken conception of the kind of self-awareness relevant to personhood. He argues that self-awareness bifurcates into two importantly different forms — reflective self-awareness and pre-reflective self-awareness — and that many animals can have the latter, which is sufficient for personhood. I agree that there is good reason to think that many animals can have pre-reflective self-awareness, but I think Rowlands is mistaken about its nature. His account runs the risk of leading to an infinite regress objection, and his notion of pre-reflective self-awareness actually sounds ...


The Psychological Concept Of “Person”, Kristin Andrews 2016 York University Animal Sentience

The Psychological Concept Of “Person”, Kristin Andrews

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Reluctance to overextend personhood seems to drive many of the skeptical responses in the first round of commentaries on Rowlands's target article. Despite Rowlands’s straightforward Response that we already accept some nonhumans as persons, there is still hesitation to accept that other nonhuman animals are persons. Rowlands's argument is sound but the skeptics don’t accept the Lockean notion of person. The metaphysical sense of person is a psychological one, however, and psychological properties grant one moral status according to many ethical theories.


Zombies, Predatory Wasps And Consciousness, James K. Peterson 2016 Clemson University

Zombies, Predatory Wasps And Consciousness, James K. Peterson

Annual Symposium on Biomathematics and Ecology: Education and Research

No abstract provided.


Consciousness And The Unity Of Mind, Mark Rowlands 2016 University of Miami

Consciousness And The Unity Of Mind, Mark Rowlands

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Several types of objection have been raised against the arguments I presented in my target article, “Are animals persons?” Among the objections are the following: (1) the claim that animals are persons is of little significance, (2) my use of the Lockean conception of the person is questionable, (3) whether a creature qualifies as a person is a matter of social construction rather than objective fact, (4) reflective consciousness is more important than I realize, (5) my reliance on implicit self-awareness in the account of personhood is ill-advised, (6) my account entails that too many creatures qualify as persons, and ...


Insects: Still Looking Like Zombies, Christopher S. Hill 2016 Brown University

Insects: Still Looking Like Zombies, Christopher S. Hill

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

In arguing that insect brains are capable of sentience, Klein & Barron rely heavily on Bjorn Merker’s claim that activity in the human mid-brain is sufficient for conscious experience. I criticize Merker’s claim by pointing out that the behaviors supported by midbrain activity are much more primitive than the ones that appear to depend on consciousness. I raise a similar objection to Klein & Barron’s contention that insect behaviors are similar to behaviors that manifest consciousness in human beings. The similarity is weak. I also respond to the related view that integrative activity in mid-brain structures is sufficient to ...


Cromwell Relative Reward Striatal Activity.Pdf, Howard C. Cromwell, Emily S. Webber, David E. Mankin 2016 Bowling Green State University

Cromwell Relative Reward Striatal Activity.Pdf, Howard C. Cromwell, Emily S. Webber, David E. Mankin

Howard Casey Cromwell

The striatum is a key brain region involved in reward processing. Striatal activity has been linked to encoding rewardmagnitude and integrating diverse reward outcome information. Recent work has supported the involvement ofstriatum in the valuation of outcomes. The present work extends this idea by examining striatal activity during dynamicshifts in value that include different levels and directions of magnitude disparity. A novel task was used to produce
diverse relative reward effects on a chain of instrumental action. Rats (Rattus norvegicus) were trained to respond to
cues associated with specific outcomes varying by food pellet magnitude. Animals were exposed to single-outcomesessions ...


Cognitive Dissonance Or Contrast?, Thomas R. Zentall 2016 University of Kentucky

Cognitive Dissonance Or Contrast?, Thomas R. Zentall

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

According to Festinger (1957), cognitive dissonance occurs when one’s behavior or belief is inconsistent with another belief and one modifies one of the beliefs in an attempt to reduce the dissonance. In nonhuman animals, we have examined a version of human cognitive dissonance theory called justification of effort, according to which the value of reward following more difficult tasks increases, presumably to justify (to oneself or to others) performing the more difficult task. We have examined the justification of effort effect in animals and found a pattern similar to the one in humans but we propose a simpler underlying ...


Structural Dichotomy Of The Mind; The Role Of Sexual Neuromodulators, Ion G. Motofei, David L. Rowland 2016 Carol Davila University, Department of Surgery and Psychiatry

Structural Dichotomy Of The Mind; The Role Of Sexual Neuromodulators, Ion G. Motofei, David L. Rowland

Journal of Mind and Medical Sciences

The mind (mental function) and sexuality represent two distinct environmental functions, but which are supported within the brain by a common (somatic-autonomic) neurobiological substrate. As a consequence, mental function takes on autonomic characteristics from the sexual-autonomic system (like autonomy, duality), while sexual function takes on features from mental functioning (such as lateralization). In this paper we discuss the lateralized action of two classes of sexual neuromodulators: hormones and pheromones. This process of lateralization is assimilated with the structural dichotomy of the mind.

A relatively similar process but related to informational dichotomy of the mind will be presented in a forthcoming ...


Role Of Anterior Cingulate Cortex In Saccade Control, Sahand Babapoor-Farrokhran 2016 The University of Western Ontario

Role Of Anterior Cingulate Cortex In Saccade Control, Sahand Babapoor-Farrokhran

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Cognitive control is referred to the guidance of behavior based on internal goals rather than external stimuli. It has been postulated that prefrontal cortex is mainly involved in higher order cognitive functions. Specifically, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which is part of the prefrontal cortex, is suggested to be involved in performance monitoring and conflict monitoring that are considered to be cognitive control functions.

Saccades are the fast eye movements that align the fovea on the objects of interest in the environment. In this thesis, I have explored the role of ACC in control of saccadic eye movements. First, I performed ...


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