Do animals see the world the way we do?

We can't ask them, so scientists have devised an experiment.

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  • Humans have the capacity for conscious awareness of our visual world.
  • While all sighted animals respond to visual stimuli, we don't know if any of them consciously take note of what they're seeing in the way that we do.
  • Researchers from Yale have devised experiments that suggest that rhesus monkeys share this ability.

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Humans are not the only animals that self-medicate

Research shows that sparrows and other animals use plants to heal themselves.

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  • Researchers find that russet sparrows are among the many animals that self-medicate.
  • It's not clear whether this pervasive capability is learned behavior or instinctive.
  • It's likely animals have discovered some remedies we don't yet know about.
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Pushing the origin of speech back by 20 million years

A new study finds evidence of an important neural speech pathway in macaques.

Image source: Sergey Uryadnikov/Shutterstock
  • Researchers find traces of something like our arcuate fasciculus in macaque brains.
  • Since the last ancestor we shared with macaques was 25-30 million years ago, this would push speech way back.
  • The study suggests human speech began in the auditory cortex and eventually extended to include the executive-function areas of the brain.
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Evolution: That famous ‘march of progress’ image is just wrong

Some fish evolved legs and walked onto the land. Right?

DEA PICTURE LIBRARY/De Agostini via Getty Images

Evolution explains how all living beings, including us, came to be. It would be easy to assume evolution works by continuously adding features to organisms, constantly increasing their complexity.

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Men vs. women: Why we’re imagining equality all wrong

It's possible to seek equality without seeking sameness.

  • Males and females as a population, on average, are different. Beyond obvious differences in reproductive systems, research has shown measurable differences between the sexes in areas such as linguistic capabilities.
  • Evolutionary biologist Heather Heying argues that while males and females should be equal under the law, that does not mean that their differences should be ignored. "We should seek equality without seeking sameness."
  • People should be given the freedom to make choices, not forced to engage in activities in the name of equality.
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