Animal Emotion and Cognition

The ability of animals to experience emotions such as pain and joy, as well as more complex emotions, including grief and empathy, is collectively referred to as ‘animal sentience’.

It is closely linked to 'cognition’ which refers to their mental capacities and processes, for example the degree to which animals learn and make decisions.This is an area of growing interest across many disciplines and sectors internationally, and the scientific community’s understanding of the emotional lives and cognitive abilities of animals is crucial in informing how we treat animals, both in our work and everyday lives.This page explores how animal sentience and cognition is relevant to your field, and how it can positively contribute to your work.

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Meet the experts

Robert received his PhD in philosophy from Stanford University in 2005 and is currently an Associate Professor at California State University.
Georgina is the Executive Director of Wild Welfare and has over 15 years’ experience working for animal welfare and conservation organisations.
Min is currently a lecturer in the Department of Psychology, Sunway University, Malaysia, with research in emotional recognition in animals.