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The neuroscience that shows us what it’s like to be a dog

If we start to acknowledge that other living things have a rich emotional existence not too different from our own, we will be forced to question how we treat them, and perhaps change our behaviors as well.

EPHRAT LIVNI: ‘Gregory Berns’ latest book, What It’s Like to Be a Dog, won a Smithsonian Best Science Book prize in 2017… Berns, a neuroscientist and professor of psychology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, says the title is a reference to philosopher Thomas Nagel’s influential 1974 essay “What Is It Like To Be a Bat?”. Nagel argued that even with huge advances in neuroscience, humans would never understand the subjective experience of animals..

Berns disagrees. He believes that we can understand how animals experience the world and start to make sense of their inner lives—and that we have more in common with our pets and livestock and the creatures of the sea than perhaps we’d like to imagine. After all, if we start to acknowledge that other living things have a rich emotional existence not too different from our own, we will be forced to question how we treat them, and perhaps change our behaviors as well’. SOURCE…

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