Scientists Are Totally Rethinking Animal Cognition


An interesting article on consciousness


How long until this science spreads to china?


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How do we explain animal consciousness without using our own perceptions as a human?

For example, the thought crossed my mind often on whether my dogs know their name is them. Does my dog have the self awareness to know he is max, or does he just respond to the sound of max because I have built that connection for him to respond to using things like positive reinforcement by giving him treats.


We can’t explain anything without using our own perceptions.

They mention a couple of experiments in the article. They need to be structured as well as possible to eliminate that kind of bias, for sure


I find the topic interesting, but I kinda gave up that long article after 5 paragraphs of the author’s blog about his trip to India…
I’d be prefer reading scientists’ researches about this topic because I’ve always find the consciousness/self awareness line in animals to be fascinating. Are there any links for those?


Humans are animals.
Animals are conscious.

It’s not complicated !!


That’s how we ALL learn.
We build connections between different pieces of information . They get reinforced and some are discarded, others are put into long term memory.

There’s nothing fundamentally different between us and a dog or even a snail (much of memory research has been developed from work on snails, worms, fruit flies ).

Interestingly I came across this just now.


On one hand, dog communication lacks grammar, so the concept of having nouns / names for things (including themselves) is a bit beyond their grasp. Of course they can learn to associate particular words with meaning (“Walk?” “Bad dog!”), much as we do with their barks and body-language. Perhaps the more intelligent ones learn to interpret their names as signals that the human is addressing them. It is possible for a determined skeptic to interpret human behavior in similar terms!


I mean not attributing our own perception and doing things like adding intent. Is my dog truly happy to see me the way i’m happy to see someone? Or am I attributing that intent to the dog when maybe they just see me as a source for food.


Why are you happy to see someone?


Dogs, like humans, are social animals. They can be happy to see us, get lonely or depressed, etc.

Cats mostly see us as sources of food, though! (Okay, they can be affectionate too.)



What are thoughts and feelings? Just electro-chemical reactions?


They couldn’t exist without those reactions certainly. But our minds are more than the sum of those reactions.

You’re happy to see someone for a reason right? You expect that you will derive something positive from the interaction? Not in a conscious, mercenary way, but subconsciously. Conversely if you’re not happy to see someone there’s an opposite feeling.


If you say “ball” to a dog it will get the ball. When I was a kid we uses to shout “squirrel” and it would desperately try to get outside to catch the squirrel.

I think they can understand nouns.


Right, but do you think “positive” is based on we are just hardwired for survival? Or can I be happy to see someone for no reasons that would be positive or beneficial for me. Possibly even be “negative” like happy to see a wife who is but reactive and need me to take care of.

Or simply, does my dog truly love me and have the free will to love.


It would be hard to understand or get anywhere near to how a hound dog experiences the world as they mostly use scent. How could we even begin to understand what a fox hound experiences when for example he can smell the 5 day old piss of a fox from a few miles away. There’s been stories of hound dogs being able to find their way home over 100KM from where they were lost, sometimes I get lost just going to 7/11


I think there must be at least some emotional satisfaction you’ll get from it. Do you think dogs get no emotional satisfaction from their interactions with people?

What we call love is a human set of emotions based on our specific mindset. Our free will is also specific to our level of intelligence. Do you think dogs have any affection for certain people?


I think so, but i guess i can’t be sure it’s nothing more than hardwired brain nuero chemical reactions.

Sure, lilith gives my dogs significantly more treats to where I don’t because it would make the too fat. But they still come to me over her and greet me first.


Sure, lilith gives my dogs significantly more treats to where I don’t because it would make the too fat. But they still come to me over her and greet me first.

Good dogs.