Degree Type

Creative Component

Semester of Graduation

Fall 2019


Biomedical Sciences

First Major Professor

Dr. Vlastislav Bracha, PhD


Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical Sciences


The consciousness of animals is a topic that has captivated the interest of philosophers, neuroscientists, and psychologists since the days of Aristotle. More evidence that the once impermeable separation between animal and human is not as strong of a barrier as once believed. The study of consciousness, however, is difficult because it is impossible to study the subjective experience of another man, let alone another species. Some scholars believe that consciousness is uniquely human. However, studies that demonstrate cognitive capabilities of animals have researchers demonstrating different aspects of behavior that could be indicative of a conscious experience. Some attribute consciousness to brain size, or the ability for language. Others support a hybrid of these ideas, among many others. However, no evidence currently exists to support any hypotheses of animal consciousness. This paper provides a brief history of the study of consciousness and the changing perspectives of where animals stand in the conversation. Different studies and beliefs that exist are addressed as well as the relevance of animal consciousness.

Copyright Owner

Pipitone, Lauren

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