Commentary Type

Invited Commentary


Colin Klein and Andrew B. Barron, Insects have the capacity for subjective experience


Consistent with the promising proposal of Klein & Barron (K & B), we discuss how what makes us conscious appears to be distinct from and more widespread in the animal kingdom than what distinguishes us from other species. Many of the abilities that do distinguish humans from other species (e.g., syntax and co-articulation in speech production) can be mediated unconsciously. The kind of functional architecture proposed by K & B may engender an “action selection bottleneck” in both humans and nonhuman species. As noted by K & B, this bottleneck is intimately related to conscious processing.

Author Biography

Ezequiel Morsella, Director of the Action and Consciousness Laboratory, San Francisco State University (SFSU), does research on the differences between the conscious and unconscious brain circuits underlying human action production.


Erica B. Walker, graduate student in the Department of Psychology, San Francisco State University, does research on the role of evolutionary forces in shaping human action control, working memory, and consciousness.