Brain Science and the Non-Human Animal Mind

With the realization that the brain is responsible for what we think of as the “mind”, modern brain science has helped us humans re-frame the questions we ask about other animals. Instead of asking intractable questions like “do other animals have souls,” brain science allows us to ask whether other animals have conscious minds, and if so, to ask what those minds are like. But since the mind is a function of the brain, in order to better understand the non-human animal mind, you actually have to get in there and look at the brain. Modern neuroimaging, and brain science in general, has allowed us to do just that. This brief report aims to accomplish two main goals. First, a description of some research from the field of brain science that the author considers to be important for an understanding of the non-human animal mind; and second, to describe future directions that brain science might take, in order to deepen our understanding of the non-human animal mind.

Elric Elias, Ph.D.
University of Colorado, Denver
Denver, CO 80204
elric.elias@gmail.com

Full article / DOI can be found here.

With the realization that the brain is responsible for what we think of as the “mind”, modern brain science has helped us humans re-frame the questions we ask about other animals. Instead of asking intractable questions like “do other animals have souls,” brain science allows us to ask whether other animals have conscious minds, and if so, to ask what those minds are like. But since the mind is a function of the brain, in order to better understand the non-human animal mind, you actually have to get in there and look at the brain. Modern neuroimaging, and brain science in general, has allowed us to do just that. This brief report aims to accomplish two main goals. First, a description of some research from the field of brain science that the author considers to be important for an understanding of the non-human animal mind; and second, to describe future directions that brain science might take, in order to deepen our understanding of the non-human animal mind.

Elric Elias, Ph.D.
University of Colorado, Denver
Denver, CO 80204
elric.elias@gmail.com

Full article / DOI can be found here.