Professor Robert Bartlett presents a series which examines the way we thought during medieval times.To our medieval forebears the world could appear mysterious, even enchanted. Sightings of green men, dog heads and alien beings were commonplace. The world itself was a book written by God. But as the Middle Ages grew to a close, it became a place to be mastered, even exploited.
Any pet owner knows their cat, dog or budgie has feelings. But many scientists considered it absurd to entertain questions about how animals might feel or that they might be thinking. It was unacceptable to ascribe experiences like delight, boredom or self-awareness to non-humans. Now scientists are exploring the complex mysteries of the animal consciousness. In Mysteries of the Animal Mind we meet the researchers who are finding growing evidence of compassion, cooperation, altruism, empathy, intelligence and communication in all sorts of different species. Chimps who empathize; elephants who problem-solve; lemurs who count and lizard can solve problems just as well as many birds or mammals. Are these animals acting on instinct? Is it simply trial and error? Or is it something more?