International Journal for the Study of Animal Problems


M. W. Fox


These conference Proceedings contains a selection of valuable papers and discussion that deal with such topics as pain sensation and pain reactions in animals, bodily awareness, awareness and self-awareness, emotions, and display of emotions, and the problem of distinguishing awareness from responsiveness. This last topic was the subject of the opening presentation by D.R. Griffin, who emphasized that further studies of animal communication might serve as a "window" to animals' thoughts and also cautioned that the possibility of self-awareness in social insects should not be ruled out simply because their behavior is often genetically determined and relatively stereotypic. However, the social complexity and self-consciousness correlation may be more tenuous than the correlation between neural (primarily cortical) complexity and consciousness. N.K. Humphrey proposed that the capacity for having emotions has evolved hand-in-hand with the capacity to express them. Humphrey postulates that feelings represent an evolutionary adaptation to social life and suggests that any animal that lives in a complex social group needs to be a "natural psychologist" with the ability to anticipate, stimulate, and model the behavior and feelings of other group members.