Andrew Crump, Heather Browning, Alex Schnell, Charlotte Burn, and Jonathan Birch, Sentience in decapod crustaceans: A general framework and review of the evidence


How an animal reacts to a sensory stimulus is often used to assess whether that animal can experience feelings such as pain and pleasure. This behavioural path is typically complemented with reference to how a human would normally respond to and experience an analogous stimulus. Together, these approaches can lead to a “hard to imagine otherwise” argument for feelings. It is time to go beyond these qualitative assessments and to now determine whether a nervous system can execute the neural functions necessary for sentience.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Author Biography

Brian Key is Professor of Neuroscience and Head of the Neurophilosophy Lab, University of Queensland. Brian Key & Deborah Brown were together awarded an Australian Research Discovery Grant entitled “Towards closure on the fish pain debateWebsite

Deborah Brown is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Critical Thinking Project, University of Queensland. Website