This is very interesting. I had come to the conclusion myself that perhaps the emergence of sentience helped to drive the Cambrian Explosion, so I googled a couple of terms and came up with this. I thought it inherently unlikely that I was the only person to have thought of this, even though the subject of consciousness/sentience (linguistic minefield!) receives such scant attention from the scientific community generally.
At its most basic level, sentience likely comprises just two experiential components: pleasure (mmm, that’s nice, I’ll... (read more)