• @[email protected]
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    393 months ago

    Insects and Other Animals Have Consciousness, Experts Declare | Quanta Magazine

    There’s “a realistic possibility” that insects, octopuses, crustaceans, fish and other overlooked animals experience consciousness.

    There’s a special place in hell for title writers.

    • @[email protected]
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      133 months ago

      I totally agree with your criticism about the headline, but declaring octopuses have consciousness isn’t a stretch at all in my opinion.

      I highly recommend reading my blog post on animal cognition, culture, and personhood.

      I have ads turned off and do not benefit in any way from my blog. I feel confident that my write-up should persuade open-minded individuals to give other animals the benefit of the doubt regarding possessing consciousness.

      I have doubts about insect consciousness is any sort of relatable sense to humans, but many other animals absolutely possess consciousness similar to humans.

      • Ms. ArmoredThirteen
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        93 months ago

        Octopuses are so wildly smart I can’t imagine them not being conscious. Of all the animals we should not be eating they’re one of the big ones. I’m convinced if they have the chance (over like an evolutionary amount of years) they could develop past being solitary and set up rudimentary societies

        • @[email protected]
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          53 months ago

          Yeah they are so incredible!

          One of the biggest hindrances for their species is the lack of social learning. The mother starves and dies protecting the eggs, so all octopuses have to learn for themselves over their short lifespans.

          And that is a testament to their cunning intellect and problem-solving capability. They learn so much and so quickly.

          I’ve wondered what would happen in an experiment where a mother octopus was hooked up to machines to deliver nutrients to prevent her from starving to death while guarding her eggs. What kind of social dynamic would then follow once they hatched? Would she teach her young?

  • @[email protected]
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    3 months ago

    honestly consciousness is probably on a spectrum, depending on the complexity needed for their behaviour, rather than an is/isn’t thing.

  • 🇰 🔵 🇱 🇦 🇳 🇦 🇰 ℹ️
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    133 months ago

    If consciousness is merely defined as being aware of one’s surroundings: I would think that most living things have it.

    Has the actual mechanism of consciousness been discovered? Do we know what causes it? Where it comes from? How it is separate from simply reacting to stimuli?

    • Deconceptualist
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      3 months ago

      The fundamental mechanism is still unknown, however we do know some important details about consciousness:

      • It’s not a simple binary all-or-nothing
      • It can change naturally or artificially
      • It’s divisible and perhaps even additive

      We know this due to a number of phenomena:

      • Natural variation in states like awake, alert, groggy, asleep, comatose
      • Altered states due to alcohol or drugs (drunk, high, caffeinated, hallucinating, suppressed with anaesthesia)
      • Disorders such as Body Identity Dismorphic Disorder (BIID - thinking a major limb doesn’t belong to your body) or Phantom Limb (sensing an limb that isn’t there). Look these up if you’re unfamiliar, they’re fascinating.

      Together these and other observations suggest that consciousness is an emergent phenomena (not present in simple organ structures alone) and occurs along a scale, likely proportional to brain size. And just as your daily state can change (between sleep and wakefulness at minimum) it seems a reasonable hypothesis that other creatures experience something similar, though perhaps with a lower maximum awareness in their most alert state.

    • @SupremeFuzzler
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      03 months ago

      Maybe the mechanism hasn’t been discovered because consciousness isn’t mechanical.

  • @pigup
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    3 months ago

    “Meanwhile, crayfish display anxiety-like states — and those states can be altered by anti-anxiety drugs.”

    The gave crayfish Zoloft…and it worked.

  • @morphballganon
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    3 months ago

    “Humans and insects both have free will” and “humans and insects both lack free will” are each easier to swallow than “humans have free will but insects don’t.”

    (Free will requires consciousness)

  • @[email protected]
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    13 months ago

    I really don’t understand their examples. Like I get self-recognition and memory but what makes play behaviour, curiosity, anxiety-like states, and problem-solving signs of consciousness? These are at the end of the day organisms responding to stimuli, something all organisms by definition do. Is pain response a sign of consciousness but something like phototaxis isn’t only because the former is ‘complex’ and the latter ‘simple’?