A clash of Umwelts: Anthropomorphism in behavioral neuroscience

Behav Brain Sci. 2019 Nov 28;42:e229. doi: 10.1017/S0140525X19001237.


Brains enjoy a bodily life. Therefore animals are subjects with a point of view. Yet, coding betrays an anthropomorphic bias: we can, therefore they must. Here I propose a reformulation of Brette's question that emphasizes organismic perception, cautioning for misinterpretations based on external ideal-observer accounts. Theoretical ethology allows computational neuroscience to understand brains from the perspective of their owners.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain
  • Metaphor*
  • Neurosciences*