Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling


A novel framework for the origins of consciousness and mind, the Cellular Basis of Consciousness (CBC), is presented. The model is based on a simple, perhaps radical axiom: subjectivity is an inherent feature of particular kinds of organic form. Experiential states, including those denoted as "mind" and "consciousness," are present in the most primitive species. The model has several conceptual and empirical virtues, among them: (a) it (re)solves the problem of how minds are created by brains ─ also known as the "Hard Problem" (Chalmers 1995) ─ by revealing that the apparent difficulty results from a category error, (b) it redirects the search for the origins of mind from complex neural structures to foundational biomechanical ones, and (c) it reformulates the long-term research focus from looking for "miracle moments" where a brain is suddenly capable of making a mind to discovering how complex and sophisticated cognitive, emotional and behavioral functions evolve from more primitive ones.

Author Biography

Arthur S. Reber is Broeklundian Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, Brooklyn College and Graduate Center of the City University of New York, He is Fellow of Association for Psychological Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fulbright Foundation, and currently Visiting Professor, Psychology, University of British Columbia. His research is on implicit learning: the process through which knowledge about the world about us is picked up largely independently of awareness of both the process and products of that learning. http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/userhome/psych/areber/

Article Thread

Reber, Arthur S. (2016) Caterpillars, consciousness and the origins of mind Animal Sentience 2016.106

Woodruff, Michael L. (2016) Bacteria and the cellular basis of consciousness Animal Sentience 2016.126

Brakel, Linda A.W. (2016) Mind/body “hard problem” is not a category error Animal Sentience 2016.131

Ristau, Carolyn A. (2016) Beginnings: Physics, sentience and LUCA Animal Sentience 2016.134

Key, Brian (2016) “Cellular basis of consciousness”: Not just radical but wrong Animal Sentience 2016.137

Velmans, Max (2016) How could consciousness emerge from adaptive functioning? Animal Sentience 2016.138

Sheets-Johnstone, Maxine (2016) Darwin’s empirical evidence Animal Sentience 2016.140

Ball, Derek (2016) No help on the hard problem Animal Sentience 2016.149

Reber, Arthur S. (2016) Resolving the hard problem and calling for a small miracle Animal Sentience 2016.150

Morsella, Ezequiel and Reyes, Zaviera (2016) The difference between conscious and unconscious brain circuits Animal Sentience 2016.151

Ng, Yew-Kwang (2016) Consciousness and evolutionary biology Animal Sentience 2016.152

Safina, Carl (2016) Reber’s caterpillar offers no help Animal Sentience 2016.154

Broude, Gwen J. (2016) Still wondering how flesh can feel Animal Sentience 2016.156