How to Cite
Becerra, D., Calixto, A., & Orio, P. (2023). The Conscious Nematode: Exploring Hallmarks of Minimal Phenomenal Consciousness in Caenorhabditis Elegans. International Journal of Psychological Research, 16(2), 87–104. https://doi.org/10.21500/20112084.6487
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While subcellular components of cognition and affectivity that involve the interaction between experience, environment, and physiology —such as learning, trauma, or emotion— are being identified, the physical mechanisms of phenomenal consciousness remain more elusive. We are interested in exploring whether ancient, simpler organisms such as nematodes have minimal consciousness. Is there something that feels like to be a worm? Or are worms blind machines? ‘Simpler’ models allow us to simultaneously
extract data from multiple levels such as slow and fast neural dynamics, structural connectivity, molecular dynamics, behavior, decision making, etc.,
and thus, to test predictions of the current frameworks in dispute. In the present critical review, we summarize the current models of consciousness in order to reassess in light of the new evidence whether Caenorhabditis
elegans, a nematode with a nervous system composed of 302 neurons, has minimal consciousness. We also suggest empirical paths to further advance consciousness research using C. elegans.



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