Bug Blog

What Bugs Can Tell Us About Our Consciousness

For as long as people have been studying insects there has been unanimous agreement that insects are capable of acting on information that they gather from the environment. This indicates that insects are capable of sorting through and retaining information as well. But does this indicate that insects experience a subjective sense of self or consciousness

Two notable entomologists recently presented information to the National Academy of Sciences, which argues that insects are indeed capable of conscious experience. Traditionally, philosophers and scientists have relied upon mere observations of insect behavior to draw conclusions about whether or not insects are conscious. However, the scientists that presented their findings went beyond the norm by using machinery that allows for the neurological processes of insects to be observed.

Interestingly, the scientists discovered that one single part of an insect’s brain is responsible for making sense out of the outside world. The midbrain seems to be the part of the brain that processes conscious information, and this is also the case with human beings, indicating that consciousness is much older than traditionally supposed.

Is it realistic to believe that the part of the brain, in this case the midbrain, is solely responsible for processing of ALL conscious experience?