Irina Mikhalevich and Russell Powell, Minds without spines: Evolutionarily inclusive animal ethics


Studies on invertebrate minds suggest that the neural machinery for basic cognition is cheap, and that bigger brains are probably associated with greater memory storage rather than more advanced cognition. Sentience may be linked to feedforward mechanisms (Reafferenzprinzip) that allow organisms with active movement to distinguish active and passive sensing. Invertebrates may offer special opportunities for testing these hypotheses.

Author Biography

Giorgio Vallortigara, professor of Neuroscience, Centre for Mind/Brain Sciences, University of Trento, studies space, number and object cognition, and brain asymmetry in a comparative and evolutionary perspective. He is the author of more than 300 scientific papers on these topics, and the recipient of Geoffroy Saint Hilaire Prize for Ethology and Doctor Rerum Naturalium Honoris Causa for outstanding achievements in psychobiology (Ruhr University). Website