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The First MindsCaterpillars, Karyotes, and Consciousness$
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Arthur S. Reber

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190854157

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190854157.001.0001

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Where We Get Serious: The Cellular Basis of Consciousness

Where We Get Serious: The Cellular Basis of Consciousness

(p.123) 4 Where We Get Serious: The Cellular Basis of Consciousness
The First Minds

Arthur S. Reber

Oxford University Press

First, the chapter examines the research methods used in the past to look for the evolutionary origins of other forms, functions, and behaviors—specifically vision, memory, and affect. We find that searching for the roots in primitive species has been standard operating procedure and wonder why there is a reluctance to do this with consciousness—noting that the category error is the culprit. The formal Cellular Basis of Consciousness (CBC) model is presented, followed by a look at the species under consideration—the prokaryotes and archaea, the simplest of unicellular organisms. An in-depth review of the remarkable lives of these creatures is presented examining the perhaps startling array of functions they carry out, including sensing, perceiving, learning, memory, decision-making, and communication. The lines of criticism that will certainly be used against the CBC are introduced and, as before, prophylactic arguments are presented.

Keywords:   cellular basis of consciousness, prokaryotes, eukaryotes, unicellular life, bacterial learning, memory, communication

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