January 14, 2005

Animals translated

Temple Grandin, professor of animal science at Colorado State University (Fort Collins), is well-known for her claim that her own mild autism makes her more able to understand animal behavior than do most "normal" people. In her words, "the 'Interpreter' in the normal human brain that filters out detail, creating an unintentional blindness that animals and autistics do not suffer from."

She develops this idea in her article ,"Thinking the Way Animals Do" and now in a new book, co-written with Catherine Johnson, PhD., Animals in Translation.

1 comment:

Chas S. Clifton said...

After posting, I did think of one possible flaw in Grandin's reasoning, not that it takes away from her results.

Some people say that autistic persons do not process human facial expressions; to them, a light switch and a frowning (or smiling) face are equally worthy of their attention. That's the "detail" part, I'm sure.

Yet animals can read our body language because we are animals too. Those animals that live with us can read us quite closely.