A lecture by Sherryl Vint, Associate Professor at Brock University in St. Catharine’s, Ontario, Canada
Date: Tuesday, 7 July 2009
Location: Alexander Lecture Theatre, UWA
Cost: Free. No RSVP required.
Enquiries: email@example.com or (+61 8) 6488 1340??(The nearest carpark is P3 off Hackett Drive Entrance 1)
The mirror test – a classic investigation of consciousness in animal research.
The mirror test has aspects of a typical pulp science fiction scenario of alien abduction: an animal is rendered unconscious, during which time dye is applied to its face in some way; when it awakes, the animal is given access to a mirror. If the animal then attempts to investigate the mark in some way, it is deemed to have passed the mirror test, revealing that it recognises the other in the mirror as self. Animals pass this test by mirroring consciousness as it is experienced by humans as much as by seeing themselves in the mirror’s image.
The image of the mirror also signifies that we often understand animals as mirrors for ourselves, constructing images of them that glorify some species in whom we see qualities we …