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21 Local Warehouse Biology- Ethology and Animal Behavior

Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior

by and

Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior Cover

 

Staff Pick

One of the most revealing, readable books about the mind to come along in years. A simply fascinating glimpse into animal behavior — on the farm, at home, and even in the mirror.
Recommended by Kyle, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"Grandin's prose alone makes her new book, Animals in Translation, well worth a read. Fresh and irreverent, yet almost completely emotionless, the style suggests a cross between Holden Caulfield and Star Trek's Mr. Spock — which is so much better than it sounds that I wish Grandin would try her hand at fiction....[Animals in Translation] is well researched and insightful. Its main thrust is that life cannot be classified in terms of a simple neurological ladder, with human beings at the top; it is more accurate to talk of different forms of intelligence, each with its own strengths and weaknesses." B. R. Myers, the Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

I don't know if people will ever be able to talk to animals the way Doctor Doolittle could, or whether animals will be able to talk back. Maybe science will have something to say about that. But I do know people can learn to "talk" to animals, and to hear what animals have to say, better than they do now. --From Animals in Translation

Why would a cow lick a tractor? Why are collies getting dumber? Why do dolphins sometimes kill for fun? How can a parrot learn to spell? How did wolves teach man to evolve? Temple Grandin draws upon a long, distinguished career as an animal scientist and her own experiences with autism to deliver an extraordinary message about how animals act, think, and feel. She has a perspective like that of no other expert in the field, which allows her to offer unparalleled observations and groundbreaking ideas.

People with autism can often think the way animals think, putting them in the perfect position to translate "animal talk." Grandin is a faithful guide into their world, exploring animal pain, fear, aggression, love, friendship, communication, learning, and, yes, even animal genius. The sweep of Animals in Translation is immense and will forever change the way we think about animals.

*includes a Behavior and Training Troubleshooting Guide

 
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

Review:

"Philosophers and scientists have long wondered what goes on in the minds of animals, and this fascinating study gives a wealth of illuminating insights into that mystery. Grandin, an animal behavior expert specializing in the design of humane slaughter systems, is autistic, and she contends that animals resemble autistic people in that they think visually rather than linguistically and perceive the world as a jumble of mesmerizing details rather than a coherent whole. Animals — cows, say, on their way through a chute — are thus easily spooked by novelties that humans see as trivialities, such as high-pitched noises, drafts and dangling clothes. Other animals accomplish feats of obsessive concentration; squirrels really do remember where each acorn is buried. The portrait she paints of the mammalian mind is both alien and familiar; she shows that beasts are capable of sadistic cruelty, remorse, superstition and surprising discernment (in one experiment, pigeons were taught to distinguish between early period Picasso and Monet). Grandin (Thinking in Pictures) and Johnson (coauthor of Shadow Syndromes) deploy a simple, lucid style to synthesize a vast amount of research in neurology, cognitive psychology and evolutionary biology, supplementing it with Grandin's firsthand observations of animal behavior and her own experiences with autism, engaging anecdotes about how animals interact with each other and their masters, and tips on how to pick and train house pets. The result is a lively and absorbing look at the world from animals' point of view. Forecast: Anyone who's enjoyed the work of Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson — and especially those who liked it but felt it a bit warm and fuzzy in spots — should appreciate this valuable, rigorous book." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Grandin makes her philosophical challenges through simple descriptions of scientific data...but without scientific murkiness....Animals in Translation may end up being the best animal book of the year, certainly the most human." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"This fascinating book will teach readers to see as animals see, to be a little more visual and a little less verbal, and, as a unique analysis of animal behavior, it belongs in all libraries." Booklist

Review:

"The book is a valuable, if speculative, contribution to the discussion of both autism and animal intelligence....Delving into animal emotion, aggression and suffering, Grandin gives tips that may be useful for caretakers of pets and farm animals." Scientific American

Review:

"Not since Jane Goodall's research on the chimpanzee's use of tools has there been a book that so successfully challenges our definitions of what is human and what is animal." BookPage

Review:

"Extensively footnoted, and with a 'Behavior and Training Troubleshooting Guide' as an appendix, the book aims to offer something to experts and pet owners alike." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"While the book at times is repetitive and occasionally makes points using anecdotal evidence, it remains entertaining and insightful." Rocky Mountain News

Synopsis:

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.

Synopsis:

I don't know if people will ever be able to talk to animals the way Doctor Doolittle could, or whether animals will be able to talk back. Maybe science will have something to say about that. But I do know people can learn to "talk" to animals, and to hear what animals have to say, better than they do now. --From Animals in Translation

Why would a cow lick a tractor? Why are collies getting dumber? Why do dolphins sometimes kill for fun? How can a parrot learn to spell? How did wolves teach man to evolve? Temple Grandin draws upon a long, distinguished career as an animal scientist and her own experiences with autism to deliver an extraordinary message about how animals act, think, and feel. She has a perspective like that of no other expert in the field, which allows her to offer unparalleled observations and groundbreaking ideas.

People with autism can often think the way animals think, putting them in the perfect position to translate "animal talk." Grandin is a faithful guide into their world, exploring animal pain, fear, aggression, love, friendship, communication, learning, and, yes, even animal genius. The sweep of Animals in Translation is immense and will forever change the way we think about animals.

*includes a Behavior and Training Troubleshooting Guide

 
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

About the Author

TEMPLE GRANDIN earned her Ph.D. in animal science from the University of Illinois, went on to become an associate professor at Colorado State University, and wrote two books on autism, including the seminal Thinking in Pictures. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.

CATHERINE JOHNSON, Ph.D., is a writer specializing in neuropsychiatry and the brain and is the author of three previous books. She lives in New York.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: My Story
 
Chapter 2: How Animals Perceive the World
 
Chapter 3: Animal Feelings
 
Chapter 4: Animal Aggression
 
Chapter 5: Pain and Suffering
 
Chapter 6: How Animals Thinks
 
Chapter 7: Animal Genius: Extreme Talents
 
Behavior and Training Troubleshooting Guide
Notes
Selected Biography
Acknowledgments
Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Jeane, April 1, 2008 (view all comments by Jeane)
I found this book utterly fascinating. It looks at animal behavior, emotions and intelligence from the viewpoint and understanding of an autistic experience. Temple Grandin explains in depth how autism has lead her to identify with many ways in which animals feel, see and experience the world. She shares insights on many different species: dogs, cats, horses, pigs, chickens, cattle and others like prairie dogs, dolphins and elephants. Grandin repeatedly demonstrates how physical aspects of an animal's being affect their perception of and responses to the environment, and how their natural senses and intelligence give them specialized abilities we cannot readily understand (like dogs who predict seizures). Animals In Translation is one of the best non-fiction books on my shelf.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(14 of 28 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780156031448
Subtitle:
Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior
Author:
Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson
Author:
Johnson, Catherine
Author:
Grandin, Temple
Author:
Rinehart, Kurt
Author:
Elbroch, Mark
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Animals
Subject:
Animal behavior
Subject:
Autism
Subject:
Life Sciences - Zoology - Mammals
Subject:
SCI070030
Subject:
General Pets
Subject:
Animals - General
Subject:
Mammals
Subject:
Nature Studies-Zoology
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Peterson Reference Guides
Publication Date:
20060102
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 9 to 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
196 photos, 127 line drawings
Pages:
372
Dimensions:
8.00 x 5.31 in
Age Level:
from 14

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Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior Used Trade Paper
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$8.95 In Stock
Product details 372 pages Harvest Books - English 9780156031448 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

One of the most revealing, readable books about the mind to come along in years. A simply fascinating glimpse into animal behavior — on the farm, at home, and even in the mirror.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Philosophers and scientists have long wondered what goes on in the minds of animals, and this fascinating study gives a wealth of illuminating insights into that mystery. Grandin, an animal behavior expert specializing in the design of humane slaughter systems, is autistic, and she contends that animals resemble autistic people in that they think visually rather than linguistically and perceive the world as a jumble of mesmerizing details rather than a coherent whole. Animals — cows, say, on their way through a chute — are thus easily spooked by novelties that humans see as trivialities, such as high-pitched noises, drafts and dangling clothes. Other animals accomplish feats of obsessive concentration; squirrels really do remember where each acorn is buried. The portrait she paints of the mammalian mind is both alien and familiar; she shows that beasts are capable of sadistic cruelty, remorse, superstition and surprising discernment (in one experiment, pigeons were taught to distinguish between early period Picasso and Monet). Grandin (Thinking in Pictures) and Johnson (coauthor of Shadow Syndromes) deploy a simple, lucid style to synthesize a vast amount of research in neurology, cognitive psychology and evolutionary biology, supplementing it with Grandin's firsthand observations of animal behavior and her own experiences with autism, engaging anecdotes about how animals interact with each other and their masters, and tips on how to pick and train house pets. The result is a lively and absorbing look at the world from animals' point of view. Forecast: Anyone who's enjoyed the work of Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson — and especially those who liked it but felt it a bit warm and fuzzy in spots — should appreciate this valuable, rigorous book." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Grandin's prose alone makes her new book, Animals in Translation, well worth a read. Fresh and irreverent, yet almost completely emotionless, the style suggests a cross between Holden Caulfield and Star Trek's Mr. Spock — which is so much better than it sounds that I wish Grandin would try her hand at fiction....[Animals in Translation] is well researched and insightful. Its main thrust is that life cannot be classified in terms of a simple neurological ladder, with human beings at the top; it is more accurate to talk of different forms of intelligence, each with its own strengths and weaknesses." (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
"Review" by , "Grandin makes her philosophical challenges through simple descriptions of scientific data...but without scientific murkiness....Animals in Translation may end up being the best animal book of the year, certainly the most human."
"Review" by , "This fascinating book will teach readers to see as animals see, to be a little more visual and a little less verbal, and, as a unique analysis of animal behavior, it belongs in all libraries."
"Review" by , "The book is a valuable, if speculative, contribution to the discussion of both autism and animal intelligence....Delving into animal emotion, aggression and suffering, Grandin gives tips that may be useful for caretakers of pets and farm animals."
"Review" by , "Not since Jane Goodall's research on the chimpanzee's use of tools has there been a book that so successfully challenges our definitions of what is human and what is animal."
"Review" by , "Extensively footnoted, and with a 'Behavior and Training Troubleshooting Guide' as an appendix, the book aims to offer something to experts and pet owners alike."
"Review" by , "While the book at times is repetitive and occasionally makes points using anecdotal evidence, it remains entertaining and insightful."
"Synopsis" by , 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.
"Synopsis" by ,
I don't know if people will ever be able to talk to animals the way Doctor Doolittle could, or whether animals will be able to talk back. Maybe science will have something to say about that. But I do know people can learn to "talk" to animals, and to hear what animals have to say, better than they do now. --From Animals in Translation

Why would a cow lick a tractor? Why are collies getting dumber? Why do dolphins sometimes kill for fun? How can a parrot learn to spell? How did wolves teach man to evolve? Temple Grandin draws upon a long, distinguished career as an animal scientist and her own experiences with autism to deliver an extraordinary message about how animals act, think, and feel. She has a perspective like that of no other expert in the field, which allows her to offer unparalleled observations and groundbreaking ideas.

People with autism can often think the way animals think, putting them in the perfect position to translate "animal talk." Grandin is a faithful guide into their world, exploring animal pain, fear, aggression, love, friendship, communication, learning, and, yes, even animal genius. The sweep of Animals in Translation is immense and will forever change the way we think about animals.

*includes a Behavior and Training Troubleshooting Guide

 
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

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