The Marvelous Learning Animal

Author: Arthur W. Staats
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1616145986
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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What makes us human? In recent decades, researchers have focused on innate tendencies and inherited traits as explanations for human behavior, especially in light of groundbreaking human genome research. The author thinks this trend is misleading. As he shows in great detail in this engaging, thought-provoking, and highly informative book, what makes our species unique is our marvelous ability to learn, which is an ability that no other primate possesses. In his exploration of human progress, the author reveals that the immensity of human learning has not been fully understood or examined. Evolution has endowed us with extremely versatile bodies and a brain comprised of one hundred billion neurons, which makes us especially suited for a wide range of sophisticated learning. Already in childhood, human beings begin learning complex repertoires—language, sports, value systems, music, science, rules of behavior, and many other aspects of culture. These repertoires build on one another in special ways, and our brains develop in response to the learning experiences we receive from those around us and from what we read and hear and see. When humans gather in society, the cumulative effect of building learning upon learning is enormous. The author presents a new way of understanding humanness—in the behavioral nature of the human body, in the unique human way of learning, in child development, in personality, and in abnormal behavior. With all this, and his years of basic and applied research, he develops a new theory of human evolution and a new vision of the human being. This book offers up a unified concept that not only provides new ways of understanding human behavior and solving human problems but also lays the foundations for opening new areas of science. From the Hardcover edition.

Animals in Translation

Author: Temple Grandin
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 9781439130841
Format: PDF, ePub
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Temple Grandin's Animals in Translation speaks in the clear voice of a woman who emerged from the other side of autism, bringing with her an extraordinary message about how animals think and feel. Temple's professional training as an animal scientist and her history as a person with autism have given her a perspective like that of no other expert in the field. Standing at the intersection of autism and animals, she offers unparalleled observations and groundbreaking ideas about both. Autistic people can often think the way animals think -- in fact, Grandin and co-author Catherine Johnson see autism as a kind of way station on the road from animals to humans -- putting autistic people in the perfect position to translate "animal talk." Temple is a faithful guide into their world, exploring animal pain, fear, aggression, love, friendship, communication, learning, and, yes, even animal genius. Not only are animals much smarter than anyone ever imagined, in some cases animals are out-and-out brilliant. The sweep of Animals in Translation is immense, merging an animal scientist's thirty years of study with her keen perceptions as a person with autism -- Temple sees what others cannot. Among its provocative ideas, the book: argues that language is not a requirement for consciousness -- and that animals do have consciousness applies the autism theory of "hyper-specificity" to animals, showing that animals and autistic people are so sensitive to detail that they "can't see the forest for the trees" -- a talent as well as a "deficit" explores the "interpreter" in the normal human brain that filters out detail, leaving people blind to much of the reality that surrounds them -- a reality animals and autistic people see, sometimes all too clearly explains how animals have "superhuman" skills: animals have animal genius compares animals to autistic savants, declaring that animals may in fact be autistic savants, with special forms of genius that normal people do not possess and sometimes cannot even see examines how humans and animals use their emotions to think, to decide, and even to predict the future reveals the remarkable abilities of handicapped people and animals maintains that the single worst thing you can do to an animal is to make it feel afraid Temple Grandin is like no other author on the subject of animals because of her training and because of her autism: understanding animals is in her blood and in her bones.

Good Natured

Author: Frans B. M. DE WAAL
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674033175
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Animals Make Us Human

Author: Temple Grandin
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0547393954
Format: PDF, ePub
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How can we give animals the best life-- for them? What does an animal need to be happy? In her groundbreaking, best-selling book Animals in Translation, Temple Grandin drew on her own experience with autism as well as her experience as an animal scientist to deliver extraordinary insights into how animals think, act, and feel. Now she builds on those insights to show us how to give our animals the best and happiest life-- on their terms, not ours. Knowing what causes animals physical pain is usually easy, but pinpointing emotional distress is much harder. Drawing on the latest research and her own work, Grandin identifies the core emotional needs of animals and then explains how to fulfill the specific needs of dogs and cats, horses, farm animals, zoo animals, and even wildlife. Whether it’s how to make the healthiest environment for the dog you must leave alone most of the day, how to keep pigs from being bored, or how to know if the lion pacing in the zoo is miserable or just exercising, Grandin teaches us to challenge our assumptions about animal contentment and honor our bond with our fellow creatures. Animals Make Us Human is the culmination of almost thirty years of research, experimentation, and experience. This is essential reading for anyone who’s ever owned, cared for, or simply cared about an animal.

The Unpredictable Species

Author: Philip Lieberman
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400846706
Format: PDF
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The Unpredictable Species argues that the human brain evolved in a way that enhances our cognitive flexibility and capacity for innovation and imitation. In doing so, the book challenges the central claim of evolutionary psychology that we are locked into predictable patterns of behavior that were fixed by genes, and refutes the claim that language is innate. Philip Lieberman builds his case with evidence from neuroscience, genetics, and physical anthropology, showing how our basal ganglia--structures deep within the brain whose origins predate the dinosaurs--came to play a key role in human creativity. He demonstrates how the transfer of information in these structures was enhanced by genetic mutation and evolution, giving rise to supercharged neural circuits linking activity in different parts of the brain. Human invention, expressed in different epochs and locales in the form of stone tools, digital computers, new art forms, complex civilizations--even the latest fashions--stems from these supercharged circuits. The Unpredictable Species boldly upends scientifically controversial yet popular beliefs about how our brains actually work. Along the way, this compelling book provides insights into a host of topics related to human cognition, including associative learning, epigenetics, the skills required to be a samurai, and the causes of cognitive confusion on Mount Everest and of Parkinson's disease.

Pleasurable Kingdom

Author: Jonathan Balcombe
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9780230552272
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The recognition of animal pain and stress, once controversial, is now acknowledged by legislation in many countries, but there is no formal recognition of animals' ability to feel pleasure. Pleasurable Kingdom is the first book for lay-readers to present new evidence that animals--like humans--enjoy themselves. It debunks the popular perception that life for most is a continuous, grim struggle for survival and the avoidance of pain. Instead it suggests that creatures from birds to baboons feel good thanks to play, sex, touch, food, anticipation, comfort, aesthetics, and more. Combining rigorous evidence, elegant argument and amusing anecdotes, leading animal behavior researcher Jonathan Balcombe proposes that the possibility of positive feelings in creatures other than humans has important ethical ramifications for both science and society.

The Moral Lives of Animals

Author: Dale Peterson
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1608193462
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A provocative and brilliantly original exploration of what morality means, and what animals can teach us about it.

Animal Madness

Author: Laurel Braitman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451627025
Format: PDF, ePub
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**“Science Friday” Summer Reading Pick** **Discover magazine Top 5 Summer Reads** **People magazine Best Summer Reads** “A lovely, big-hearted book…brimming with compassion and the tales of the many, many humans who devote their days to making animals well” (The New York Times). Have you ever wondered if your dog might be a bit depressed? How about heartbroken or homesick? Animal Madness takes these questions seriously, exploring the topic of mental health and recovery in the animal kingdom and turning up lessons that Publishers Weekly calls “Illuminating…Braitman’s delightful balance of humor and poignancy brings each case of life….[Animal Madness’s] continuous dose of hope should prove medicinal for humans and animals alike.” Susan Orlean calls Animal Madness “a marvelous, smart, eloquent book—as much about human emotion as it is about animals and their inner lives.” It is “a gem…that can teach us much about the wildness of our own minds” (Psychology Today).

A Perfect Harmony

Author: Roger A. Caras
Publisher: Purdue University Press
ISBN: 9781557532411
Format: PDF, ePub
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A history of animals throughout the ages. The author explains how animals have played a vital role in humankind's evolutionary course, aiming to enhance the reader's perception of history, the human species, and the sentient creatures with whom we share the planet.