When my puppy rolls on her back to get me to rub her belly – again – it’s because she anticipates the soothing experience of our warm contact. Even when my dogs aren’t hungry, they always enjoy a treat. They enjoy a treat.

The idea that animals have consciousness and feelings might seem self-evident to most pet lovers. But many researchers and science writers insist that we simply have no way to access the mental experience of animals. They’re incorrect. We know much more than we did.

Brain science was in its infancy when behavioural scientists first issued the classic directive, “Do ...


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