To Know or not to Know Yourself

Are animals aware of themselves?

In his book “The Self and its Brain” the famous Australian 1963 winner of the Nobel Prize in “Physiology or MedicineSir John Eccles addressed the question whether an animal’s self-consciousness was the product of its brain or whether the brain served the animal’s self. Eccles, although an Australian by birth, it is often forgotten that he served as a professor at New Zealand’s Otago University from 1944 to 1951 and that during this period he devised a completely new course in physiology for medical students and carried out fundamentally important work, published in the journal NATURE as a paper co-authored by A.K. McIntyre. In 1951, he disproved his own theory of electrical synaptic transmission and accepted that the transmission was chemically mediated. His lab at that time was described as a “chicken cage of oscilloscopes, wires and animals” and he himself was seen as the “caricature of the mad scientist”, who once spent 24 hours “cooped up” in his cage . —>