WORKSHOP 5 (part 1): Gary Comstock: A Cow's Concept of Her Future
7:30 PM, Saturday 30 Jun 2018 (1 hour)
Université du Québec à Montréal - DS-R510
Cows and horses lack the kind of language required to tell us what they know, if anything, about their futures. No bovine behaviors suggest cows have autobiographical, episodic “prospection” in which they imagine themselves at specific places and times in the distant future. However, they act in ways that suggest they consciously set goals, act on hypotheses to achieve them, and react flexibly when obstacles arise. The behavioral repertoire suggests wanting, desiring, and looking forward to at least short-term future states. What do we know of the neural correlates of such prospective, anticipatory seeking? Cowshave neural networks homologous to those known in humans to support short-term prospection. Behavioral and cortical evidence suggests that cows' minds are furnished with concepts of the future.
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