Evolutionary Cognition

I know what I saw

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  16 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6539, pp. 251-252
DOI: 10.1126/science.372.6539.251-b

Over the past several decades, evidence has accumulated showing that some nonhuman animals have conscious awareness. Some argue that despite high-level cognitive function, this may be occurring without conscious awareness of self. Unfortunately, we cannot ask animals to report their experiences. Ben-Haim et al. exploited the human faculty for crossover double dissociation between nonconscious and conscious processing and applied it to rhesus macaques. People perform in completely opposite ways when they are aware of stimuli compared with when they are not. In the authors' visual tests, the macaques showed nearly identical responses to those of humans, indicating that the monkeys reacted differently when they were consciously aware that they had seen a stimulus compared with when they were not.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 118, e2017543118 (2021).

Stay Connected to Science

Navigate This Article