Animal Book Club November 2019

"This is an excellent book about comparative cognition, how minds and brains evolve, and how to think about the minds of animals."―Nicola S. Clayton, University of Cambridge.

Animal Book Club November 2019


By Zazie Todd, PhD

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This month, the Animal Book Club is reading Beyond the Brain: How Body and Environment Shape Animal and Human Minds by Louise Barrett.

From the cover,
"When a chimpanzee stockpiles rocks as weapons or when a frog sends out mating calls, we might easily assume these animals know their own motivations--that they use the same psychological mechanisms that we do. But as Beyond the Brain indicates, this is a dangerous assumption because animals have different evolutionary trajectories, ecological niches, and physical attributes. How do these differences influence animal thinking and behavior? Removing our human-centered spectacles, Louise Barrett investigates the mind and brain and offers an alternative approach for understanding animal and human cognition. Drawing on examples from animal behavior, comparative psychology, robotics, artificial life, developmental psychology, and cognitive science, Barrett provides remarkable new insights into how animals and humans depend on their bodies and environment--not just their brains--to behave intelligently."

This (and plenty of other great books about animals) are available in my Amazon store: https://www.amazon.com/shop/animalbookclub


If you want to join the book club, ask to join on Facebook and be sure to answer the questions. Members are asked to commit to reading and commenting on at least 7 of the 10 books each year.

If you prefer more general chit chat about animal books without a commitment to read and comment each month, you may prefer the Animal Books Facebook group. You can find more information about both groups on the animal book club page.


Zazie Todd, PhD, is the award-winning author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy and Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy. She is the creator of the popular blog, Companion Animal Psychology, writes The Pawsitive Post premium newsletter, and also has a column at Psychology Today. Todd lives in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband, one dog, and two cats. 

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