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December 2021

Discrimination of drug effect and animal consciousness

Author(s): Velazquez, D. N.

Journal/Book: Salud Ment. 2000; 23: Calz Mexico-Xochimilco #101, Mexico City 22 DF, Mexico. Inst Mex Psiquiatria. 1-7.

Abstract: The aim of the present paper is to formulate an argument in favor of animal consciousness and subjectivity in the case of drug discrimination. Thus, animals are said to be able to recognize internal states and use them as cues to guide their action in the experimental paradigm of discrimination. The argument has the three following premises and a conclusion, all of which are justified with empirical evidence: (1) Drug discrimination in humans is due to their subjective effects. (2) Drug discrimination in animals closely matches human drug discrimination. (3) Cue interoception, which is the discriminative stimulus, cannot be explained only by drug-receptor interactions. Conclusion: By strong analogy we can infer that animals perceive or are aware of the subjective effects of drugs. If this is the case, we can assert that drug discrimination in animals is evidence of consciousness and subjectivity in them.

Note: Article Diaz JL, UNAM, Ctr Neurobiol, AP 1-450, Campus Juriquilla, Querataro 76001, Qro, MEXICO

Keyword(s): animal consciousness; drug discrimination; psychopharmacology; behavioral pharmacology; interoceptive cue; subjectivity; STIMULUS; HUMANS; COCAINE; MODEL; RATS

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