The emergence of consciousness in phylogeny.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Behav Brain Res, Volume 198, Issue 2, p.267-72 (2009)


Animals, Brain, Consciousness, Decision Making, Dopamine, Emotions, Neurotransmitter Agents, Phylogeny, Sleep, Species Specificity


<p>The brains of animals show chemical, anatomical, and functional differences, such as dopamine production and structure of sleep, between Amniota and older groups. In addition, play behavior, capacity to acquire taste aversion, sensory pleasure in decision making, and expression of emotional tachycardia and fever started also to be displayed by Amniota, suggesting that the brain may have began to work differently in early Amniota than in Lissamphibia and earlier vertebrates. Thus we propose that emotion, and more broadly speaking consciousness, emerged in the evolutionary line among the early Amniota. We also propose that consciousness is characterized by a common mental pathway that uses pleasure, or its counterpart displeasure, as a means to optimize behavior.</p>

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