Paige Colton

Paige Colton

X (Twitter): @conquest_paige
Instagram: @paige_conquest

Thesis Title

An Enquiry into the Links Between Episodic Memory and Empathy in Non-Human Animals


The University of Manchester


Dr Raamy Majeed
Prof Christopher Daly

Research Summary

My current research argues that positive affective states (joy, curiosity, play etcetera) are not just interesting states to research within the science of animal sentience, but that they act as more fruitful methodological approaches to researching an array of cognitive capacities related to sentience (empathy and episodic memory specifically). I argue that experiments designed around positive affect as opposed to negative affect will produce more statistically significant evidence that non-human animals can recognise emotional states in others and vividly recall their own experiences. This is because negative affects such as pain, fear, boredom, and discomfort, when induced directly (by painful stimuli) or indirectly (by stress inducing neutral environments) negatively impact the animal participant’s capacity to engage in complex cognitive processes.

Belonging to the same project is an investigation into the functional links between Empathy and Episodic Memory in non-human animals. That is to say that I am interested in to what extent non-human animals can consciously re-live a past event, the capacities they have for empathising with others, and the points where the prior two processes interact.

Research Interests

Simone Weil,
Care Ethics,
Animal Ethology,
Animal Cognition,
the Study of Animal Minds,
Episodic Memory,
Veganism and


Coming soon


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