• Record: found
  • Abstract: found
  • Poster: found
Is Open Access

Animals' consciousness and human self-consciousness

ScienceOpen Posters


This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at

Animal consciousness, self-consciousness, neurosciences, cognitive neuroscience, neurophilosophy

Read this article at

      There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.


      Introduction: Consciousness consists of states of sentience, feeling or awareness while awake, not in comma and alive. The current neuroscientific trend suggests the correlation of conscious experience with certain corticothalamic circuits, thus constituting part of the brain function. Animals show signs of consciousness but distinctive human element appears to be self-consciousness, the acute sense of self-awareness. Objectives: Our aim is to clarify whether animals are conscious, and if so, what the level of their consciousness is and what neuronal mechanisms are underlying in what is supposed to be human’s unique feature of consciousness. Methods & Results: A search of the literature in relevant journals (e.g. Nature Neuroscience, American Zoologist) and manually from identified articles’ reference list was conducted. Experiments (including mirror tests, language learning and comprehending tests, exposure to social competition environments, etc.) as well as the given of similarities in neuroanatomical architecture of mammals, behavior and the idea of evolutionary continuity propose that animals are conscious but the level of that remains to be investigated. On the other hand, humans feature, in addition, self-consciousness, being able to perceive and explain their emotions and actions. Conclusion: The claim that animals don’t share the state of consciousness is a remnant of the human’s high belief of being a privileged species amongst others. Nonetheless, the particular characteristic of self-consciousness seems to be exclusively attributed to human kind. However, further research should be made to understand deeply the neuronal background of the enigmatic as it is now features of consciousness and self-consciousness.

      Related collections

      Author and article information



      Comment on this article