Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagSentience (in invertebrates)

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Common Earthworm (Lumbricus Terrestris)

Evolutionary Psychologist Argues That Worms Feel Pain. But How?

Wait. Barash’s hypothesis overlooks the fact that suffering is more than an alarm system. An alarm could be going off in an empty building

A web site for fans of earthworms tackled the question recently: Yes, it is now accepted that worms feel pain – and that includes when they are cut in half. They do not anticipate pain or feel pain as an emotional response, however. They simply move in response to pain as a reflex response. They may curl up or move away, for example, from painful or negative stimuli. Aimen Mirza, “Do worms feel pain? (Can Earthworms Sense Painful Stimuli?)” at WORMMY (October 12, 2021) Possibly in line with the growing support for panpsychism in science, University of Washington evolutionary psychology professor David P. Barash, asks us to consider that worms do indeed feel pain in a deeper sense than an…

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Crab close up, Cuba

How Could We Know If an Octopus or Lobster Felt Pain?

Researchers found that, when it comes to awareness, octopuses were the stars, followed by lobsters, crayfish, crabs, etc.

Some researchers, commissioned to find out, offered their wrap-up thoughts at Phys.org recently. They started applying the same standards to octopuses as are applied to mammals that are lab animals. Specifically, they used eight criteria for determining sentience — in the sense that, if you did the same thing to a dog and got the same reaction, would you assume it was pain? The results have been interesting: We found the strongest evidence for sentience in cephalopods. Octopuses were the stars. With around 170 million brain cells, they have higher brain-to-body ratios than most reptiles and fish. This allows octopuses to perform remarkable feats of learning and memory. Octopuses also behave in ways that point strongly to experiences of pain.…