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Dysfunctional Error-Related Processing In Incarcerated Youth With Elevated Psychopathic Traits, J. Michael Maurer, Vaughn R. Steele, Lora M. Cope, Gina M. Vincent, Julia M. Stephen, Vince D. Calhoun, Kent A. Kiehl 2017 University of New Mexico

Dysfunctional Error-Related Processing In Incarcerated Youth With Elevated Psychopathic Traits, J. Michael Maurer, Vaughn R. Steele, Lora M. Cope, Gina M. Vincent, Julia M. Stephen, Vince D. Calhoun, Kent A. Kiehl

Gina M. Vincent

Adult psychopathic offenders show an increased propensity towards violence, impulsivity, and recidivism. A subsample of youth with elevated psychopathic traits represent a particularly severe subgroup characterized by extreme behavioral problems and comparable neurocognitive deficits as their adult counterparts, including perseveration deficits. Here, we investigate response-locked event-related potential (ERP) components (the error-related negativity [ERN/Ne] related to early error-monitoring processing and the error-related positivity [Pe] involved in later error-related processing) in a sample of incarcerated juvenile male offenders (n=100) who performed a response inhibition Go/NoGo task. Psychopathic traits were assessed using the Hare Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL:YV ...


The Potential For Sentience In Fishes, Jay R., Stauffer Jr. 2017 Penn State University

The Potential For Sentience In Fishes, Jay R., Stauffer Jr.

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Balcombe’s book is filled with information on the biology, behavior, and life history of fishes. I do not agree with all his premises. I am still somewhat perplexed about the discussion of whether fish feel pain; I am not sure whether the distinction between nociception and pain makes any difference. Overall, however, his treatment of the principles of both natural and sexual selection is comprehensive and accurate, and has greatly increased my knowledge and awareness of the biology, ethology, and potential for sentience in fishes. In summary, this work has exposed me to new ideas about how to examine ...


To Identify All The Relevant Factors Is To Explain Feeling, Arthur S. Reber 2017 University of British Columbia

To Identify All The Relevant Factors Is To Explain Feeling, Arthur S. Reber

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Several additional comments on Reber (2016a) have appeared. Like those addressed in Reber (2016b), they reflect points of agreement and disagreement on various elements of my Cellular Basis of Consciousness (CBC) model. Some, however, seem to have missed key points. I'm willing to take some responsibility for this. Perhaps I was not clear about some of the more radical points of the model. Hopefully the case-by-case review here will help.


What Can Research On Nonhumans Tell Us About Human Dissonance?, Jennifer Vonk 2017 Oakland University

What Can Research On Nonhumans Tell Us About Human Dissonance?, Jennifer Vonk

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Zentall’s thoughtful review of the literature on cognitive dissonance in nonhumans helps to highlight the common finding that similar outcomes in humans and nonhumans can be attributed to different underlying mechanisms. I advocate a more fully comparative approach to the underlying mechanisms, avoiding the assumption of shared processes in humans and nonhumans.


Dissonance Reduction In Nonhuman Animals: Implications For Cognitive Dissonance Theory, Cindy Harmon-Jones, Nick Haslam, Brock Bastian 2017 The University of New South Wales

Dissonance Reduction In Nonhuman Animals: Implications For Cognitive Dissonance Theory, Cindy Harmon-Jones, Nick Haslam, Brock Bastian

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

We review the evidence for dissonance reduction in nonhuman animals and examine the alternative explanations for these effects. If nonhuman animals engage in dissonance reduction, this supports the original theory as proposed by Festinger (1957) over the revisions to the theory that focused on the self-concept. Evidence of animal sentience, including dissonance reduction, may be a source of cognitive dissonance.


Choice-Induced Preference: A Challenge For Contrast, Benjamin R. Eisenreich, Benjamin Y. Hayden 2017 University of Rochester

Choice-Induced Preference: A Challenge For Contrast, Benjamin R. Eisenreich, Benjamin Y. Hayden

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

In his target article, Zentall asks: “to experience cognitive dissonance is it necessary for one to have conflicting beliefs or even beliefs at all?” He then argues that a simple behavioral process, the Within Trial Contrast Effect, may be sufficient to explain observed cognitive dissonance effects in nonhuman animals and possibly humans as well. We agree with Zentall that this effect is sufficient to explain many reported cognitive dissonance effects in nonhuman animals, but question its sufficiency for primate behavior (both monkeys and humans).


Fish Are Flexible Learners Who Can Discriminate Human Faces, Ulrike E. Siebeck 2017 The University of Queensland, Australia

Fish Are Flexible Learners Who Can Discriminate Human Faces, Ulrike E. Siebeck

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

In his book “What a fish knows” Jonathan Balcombe (2016a, b) has created a comprehensive profile of a group of animals still often thought to have a 3-second memory, no ability to feel pain, and a generally limited ability to learn. Chapter by chapter, Balcombe dismantles these and other such assumptions and makes a convincing case that fish have many abilities that are not that different from our own. Here, I focus on one example which supports the notion that fish are flexible learners and able to perform tasks which are generally thought to require the advanced processing power 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.


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