Animal Studies Journal


This paper briefly considers the broad social and scientific background to research into the possibility of insects experiencing pain sensations analogous to our own. There has been increasing use of insects in pain experiments generally, as ethical constraints on the use of other animals increased through the last century. The ways in which scientists have tackled the question of insect pain, particularly in trying to distinguish between nociception and pain are then selectively summarised. These include opioid, hormonal, evolutionary, neurophysiological and behavioural approaches, as well as experiments designed to elucidate the difficult area of insect consciousness, from the 1980s to the present.