Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

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Invited Commentary


Brian Key, Why fish do not feel pain


The target article by Key (2016) discusses the thesis that fish cannot feel pain because of the lack of the necessary neural structure. This commentary suggests the possibility that fish do not need conscious neural processing by taking into account recent results from biomimetic robotics. State-of-the-art biomimetic robot fish are based on a tight interaction between the body and the environment and are typically controlled by behavior-based architectures. Therefore, it can be hypothesized that cognitive architectures are not needed to control a robot fish. This is in line with the thesis proposed by Key: what biomimetic robot fish show is that it is difficult to explain what causal role sentience would add to their robotic capacities.

Author Biography

Antonio Chella antonio.chella@unipa.it is Professor of Robotics in the Department of Chemical, Management, Computer, Mechanical Engineering at University of Palermo. Founder and Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Machine Consciousness, he researches machine consciousness, cognitive robotics, robotics and creativity. http://www.antoniochella.it/Antonio/Home.html

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