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Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Author Website

yoramg.technion.ac.il/

Commentary Type

Invited Commentary

Abstract

Woodruff’s target article provides a detailed review of comparative studies on brain and behavior in teleosts. However, the relevance of the scientific data to the question of consciousness rests solely on the validity of a small set of so-called "requirements for consciousness." I use the target article to demonstrate that the neuroscientific study of animal consciousness in general relies on external, highly questionable and unfalsifiable criteria, and therefore fails to resolve the question of which animal species are sentient. Fish behavior can be remarkably complex, but whether fish are conscious remains a matter of belief.

Author Biography

Yoram Gutfreund is Associate Professor of Neurobiology in the Faculty of Medicine of the Technion. His specialization is in Neuroethology, the comparative study of the neural basis of animal behavior. His current research focuses on attention behavior in birds. yoramg.technion.ac.il/

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