Lecture 4 October 5, 2010 _Self Awareness_

Lecture 4 October 5, 2010 _Self Awareness_ - Self-Awareness...

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1 1 Self-Awareness Lecture #4 October 5, 2010 2 Self-Awareness z What is it? z Who has it? z How does the brain achieve it? 3 Self-Cognizance as a Continuum Self-Referencing (perceptual process involving matching phenotypic characteristics of a target individual against the phenotype of the self ) Self-Consciousness (having a sense of one's own body as a named self, knowing that ‘this body is me’ and thinking about one's self and one's own behavior in relation to the actions of others) Self-Awareness (cognitive process that enables an individual to discriminate between its own body and those of others)
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2 4 Self-Referencing z The “armpit effect” (self-referent phenotype matching): golden hamsters used their own scent to distinguish unrelated hamsters from their biological siblings Separated hamsters from kin at birth Examined mating preferences at 7 weeks Preferred non-kin 5 Who Possesses Self-Consciousness? z ‘Our own species may be on its own in having the capacity to understand what it's like to have a sense of self, to have unique and personal mental states and experiences’. - Hauser (2000), Wild Minds: What Animals Really Think z ‘The difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind’ - Darwin (1871), The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex 6 The Mirror Test: A Test of Self-Consciousness z Humans z Apes z Dolphins z Elephants z Pigeons
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3 7 Problems with the Mirror Test z It can yield false negatives: if an individual fails the test, it does not necessarily mean that the animal is not self-conscious. An individual might fail the test because vision is not the primary sensory modality of recognition in that species; chemical cues often are more important An individual might recognize self, but fail to give a behavioral response
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This note was uploaded on 03/12/2011 for the course PSC 161 taught by Professor Sommer during the Summer '10 term at UC Davis.

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Lecture 4 October 5, 2010 _Self Awareness_ - Self-Awareness...

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