Monkeys Experience the Visual World the Same Way People Do
When humans look out at a visual landscape like a sunset or a beautiful overlook, we experience something — we have a conscious awareness of what that scene looks like. This awareness of the visual world around us is central to our everyday existence, but are humans the only species that experiences the world consciously? Or do other non-human animals have the same sort of conscious experience we do? Scientists and philosophers have asked versions of this question for millennia, yet finding answers — or even appropriate ways to ask the question — has proved elusive. But a team of Yale researchers recently devised an ingenious way to try to solve this riddle. Writing on March 29 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they make the case that one non-human species — the rhesus macaque — also has a conscious awareness of the world around it.