Hill, Christopher S. (2016) Insects: Still looking like zombies. Animal Sentience. 9(20)
Colin Klein and Andrew B. Barron, Insects have the capacity for subjective experience
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 explain the sensory integration that characterizes human perceptual experience. There is good reason to think that the cortex makes additional contributions to experiential integration.