Thursday, July 10, 2014

animals can feel a wide range of emotions, reports new research (NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE)

HERE.  Highlights why we ought to think twice about the "soul of all living creatures."

"The notion that animals think and feel may be rampant among pet owners, but it makes all kinds of scientific types uncomfortable. 'If you ask my colleagues whether animals have emotions and thoughts,' says Philip Low, a prominent computational neuroscientist, 'many will drop their voices to a whisper or simply change the subject. They don’t want to touch it.' Jaak Panksepp, a professor at Washington State University, has studied the emotional responses of rats. 'Once, not very long ago,' he said, 'you couldn’t even talk about these things with colleagues.' That may be changing. 
"It turns out that common shore crabs feel and remember pain, zebra finches experience REM sleep, fruit-fly brothers cooperate, dolphins and elephants recognize themselves in mirrors, chimpanzees assist one another without expecting favors in return and dogs really do feel elation in their owners’ presence." 
"‘Scientists often say that we don’t know what animals feel because they can’t speak to us ... But the thing is, they arereporting their inner states. We’re just not listening.’" 

See also THIS recent article by Marc Bekoff, "Do Elephants Weep as an Emotional Response?"

Finally, and I thought that I posted on this before, "The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness" HERE.  Abit old but relevant to this post.  Definitely worth looking at.