Ray-finned fish are often excluded from the group of non-human animals considered to have phenomenal consciousness. This is generally done on the grounds that the fish pallium lacks a sufficiently expansive gross parcellation, as well as even minimally sufficient neuronal organization, intrinsic connectivity, and reciprocal extrinsic connections with the thalamus to support the subjective experience of qualia. It is also argued that fish do not exhibit the level of behavioral flexibility indicative of consciousness. A review of neuroanatomical, neurophysiological and behavioral studies is presented which leads to the conclusion that fish do have neurobiological correlates and behavioral flexibility of sufficient complexity to support the hypothesis that they are capable of phenomenal consciousness.
Cognition and Perception Commons, Cognitive Neuroscience Commons, Ethics and Political Philosophy Commons, Evolution Commons, Philosophy of Mind Commons, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology Commons, Zoology Commons